BioKidz Keeping Fit
By Sally Bee
There’s a lot of discussion these days about fit kids. People who care (parents, doctors, teachers, and others) want all kids to be as fit and healthy as possible. This is because it protects your health for the future, but being fit when you are young also will make your life better today. Keeping fit will help you to have more energy, concentrate and learn better and have more fun!
Being fit is a way of saying a person eats well, gets a lot of physical activity and exercise, and has a healthy weight. If you’re fit, your body works well, feels good, and can do all the things you want to do, like run around with your friends.
There are some steps that only parents or carers can take — such as serving healthy meals or deciding to take the family on long walks. But you can take charge, too, when it comes to health.
What’s your favourite way to exercise?
Do you enjoy playing outside, playing football, swimming or dancing? Exercise doesn’t have to feel like hard work, it is best to find a way of moving about and getting out of breath that you enjoy. Making exercise fun is the secret to always leading a healthy lifestyle!
Here are five rules to try and live by, if you’re a kid who wants to be fit. The trick is to follow these rules most of the time, knowing that some days (like your birthday) might call for cake and ice cream.
Eat a Variety of Foods
You may have a favourite food, but the best choice is to eat a variety. If you eat different foods, you’re more likely to get the nutrients your body needs. Taste new foods and old ones you haven’t tried for a while. Some foods, such as green veggies, are more pleasing the older you get. Try really hard to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day — two fruits and three vegetables. You could make a wall chart and tick them off as you eat them through the day and then have a sweetie reward at the weekend!
Drink Water & Milk
When you’re really thirsty, cold water is the best thirst-quencher. Kids need calcium to build strong bones, and milk is a great source of this mineral. If you are younger than 9 years old, try to drink 2 cups of milk a day and if you’re older than 9 years old, aim for 3 cups of milk per day. If you are not a fan of drinking milk, natural yoghurt without sugar added is just as good.
Fresh fruit juice has lots of vitamins but it is also high in Fructose which is a sugar found in fruit. Because of this, its a good idea to just have 1 glass of fresh juice a day at breakfast time – this can then count as one of your 5-a-day.
Listen to Your Body
What does it feel like to be full? When you’re eating, notice how your body feels and when your stomach feels comfortably full. Sometimes, people eat too much because they don’t notice when they need to stop eating. Eating too much can make you feel uncomfortable and, over a period of time, can lead to unhealthy weight gain.
Limit Screen Time
What’s screen time? It’s the amount of time you spend watching TV or DVDs, playing video games and using the computer. The more time you spend on these sitting-down activities, the less time is available for active stuff, like playing outside, bike riding, and swimming. Try to spend no more than 2 hours a day on screen time, not counting computer use related to school.
One job you have as a kid — and it’s a fun one — is that you get to find out which activities you like best. Not everyone loves football or ballet dancing. Maybe your passion is karate, or trampolining, or roller-skating. Ask your parents to help you do your favourite activities regularly. Find ways to be active every day. You might even write down a list of fun stuff to do and tick them off as you try them all!
Speaking of parents, they can be a big help if you want to be a fit kid. For instance, they can stock the house with healthy foods and plan physical activities for the family. Tell your parents about these five steps you want to take and maybe you can teach them a thing or two. If you’re a fit kid, why shouldn’t you have a fit mum and a fit dad?