You’re Not Just Burning Calories – You’re Bonding With Your Kids

According to physicist Isaac Newton, a body in motion tends to stay in motion, and a body at rest tends to stay at rest. Physical activity is central to keeping our families healthy. Routine physical activity helps improve our kids’ strength and endurance, builds healthy bones and muscles, controls weight, reduces anxiety and stress, and increases self-esteem, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Here are some statistics on physical activity to blow your mind ::

  • 1 in 3 children are physically active every day. That means 2 in 3 children are INACTIVE every day.
  • Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day. That means 95% of adults DO NOT engage in physical activity each day.
  • Only 1 in 3 adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week. Translation: 2 in 3 adults DO NOT get the recommended amount of physical activity.
  • Children now spend more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen {e.g. TV, videogames, computer}. HELLO: There are 24 in a day, 8-10 of which kids spend sleeping; 7.5 hours in front of a screen?!

Moving your body is also good for your brain! If you look at scans of the brain when the body is in motion, you’ll see that it’s full of color {read: active parts of the brain} after just a 20 minute walk. But when sitting quietly, the scans appear almost solid {read: inactive}.  It’s shocking.

Physical activity has all sorts of physical and cognitive benefits. Organized sports help children develop and improve cognitive skills. In general, physical activity is linked to greater academic achievement, and this activity can impact attitude, concentration, attention, and classroom behavior.

Physical activity also promotes long-term physical and mental health. Fitness is a lifestyle, not a fad. Monkey see, monkey do. Move with your child. Make a commitment to living healthy.

You're Not Just Burning Calories – You're Bonding With Your KidsPhoto Credit :: Momma’s Gonna Snap Photography

Recognize physical activity takes time. Take the scenic route. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Physical fitness can take lots of different forms: playing catch outside, playing tag, going for an after dinner family walk, having a family dance party, gardening together, running to the playground, cleaning the house together, etc. Make sure your physical fitness is also part of a larger family commitment to healthy eating.

And not only are you burning calories, you’re firing endorphins and bonding with your child.

The TV is killing us. The iPhone is killing us. The video games are killing us. Come up with a family contract for media use together as a family. Some things to consider in your contract:

  1. How many hours a day can be spent watching TV or using a computer, tablet, or playing video games?
  2. Are social media sites allowed – which ones?
  3. Are mobile devices allowed in bedrooms overnight?
  4. Are any particular websites off-limits?
  5. What information can be or shouldn’t be shared online?
  6. What happens if they break the rules?

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month!  This year, commit to unplugging and getting outside and find out more about how your family can be involved too.

Previous articleYou Don’t Have to Foster to Help a Child in Need
Next articleTop 10 Lice Prevention Tips For The Summer
Erica C
Erica is a New England native who moved to Houston with her family in June 2014. She and her wife Christina live in Pearland with their daughter Quinn {Dec 2013}, dog Charley, and two cats Phoebe and Oliver. Erica is an Assistant Professor at the University of Houston where she teaches classes on strategic communication and social media. When Erica isn’t busy teaching, researching, or being a mom, she enjoys getting her yoga on, creating culinary delights, scoring deals shopping online, and exploring Texas with her girls.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here