Summer can be the perfect time to encourage your child to lose weight. Without having to sit in a classroom, your child is free to spend the entire day getting active, burning more calories and making weight loss possible. Combine this with having more control over what he’s eating, and you have a recipe for success.
Childhood obesity is reaching epidemic proportions in the United States. As many as 19.6 percent of 6-to-11 year old kids and 18.1 percent of 12-to-19 year old kids are considered obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Being overweight puts your child at an increased risk for a host of diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. She’s also more likely to be an obese adult. Through getting more exercise, your child can adjust the calories in/calories out imbalance and lose weight. Playing summer games makes exercise fun and will encourage her to get more exercise.
Kids can play games with each other, such as Freeze Tag or Red Light, Green Light. Alternatively, you can sign your child up for a sport, such as soccer, baseball or football. You can also turn regular activities into a game. A hike through the woods can become more exciting when you turn it into a scavenger hunt.
Encourage your child to play outside as much as possible. To avoid overexertion, you may want to alternate active games with quieter activities, like reading or crafts. Try to encourage your child to get at least one hour of active play every day. He’ll lose even more weight if he is able to play games longer. For example, he could play for an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon.
The obvious benefit of playing games in the summertime is that it helps kids lose weight, but the benefits don’t stop there. The weight loss will reduce her risk for disease and improve her self-esteem. Exercise can also improve her mood and–assuming she’s playing with her friends–allow for bonding between friends. Using games to lose weight also helps her to focus on “having fun” rather that “losing weight,” which may make her feel less self-conscious.
It’s easy to become dehydrated when playing active games in the summer. You should encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids to keep his hydration up. Water is the best drink for weight loss. Discourage him from drinking sodas, juice and other sweet drinks. If he doesn’t like water, you can offer low-calorie flavored beverages.
- running girl image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com