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Q: How can I create a healthy lifestyle for my child?

Posted September 17, 2014 in Advice Column, Grimes

A: During the last few decades, obesity has slowly developed into an epidemic. More children and teens are overweight or obese than ever before. In response, we need to begin focusing on creating healthy lifestyles in our children by teaching good eating and exercise habits to our children.

Exercise has many benefits. It helps burn calories, reduce our blood sugar and will reduce stress leading to a better frame of mind resulting in improved self esteem and self confidence.

Children 2 and older need to exercise at least a total of 60 minutes every day. It should be done in shorter bouts of activity spread throughout the day. Scheduled recesses assist parents in keeping their child active, and once school resumes, simple things such as riding a bike, playing on a jungle gym, jumping on a trampoline, walking or swimming are excellent activities.

Limiting the amount of screen time is important. Most experts suggest limiting to one to two hours a day. This includes time spent watching TV, playing video games, sitting in front of the computer or listening to an iPod.

Parents need to begin teaching their children good habits by being good role models. Our children develop life long habits based on how things are demonstrated by their parents.

Information provided by Dr. Dennis Bussey, D.O., UnityPoint Grimes, 101 S.E. Destination Drive, 986-4524.

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