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Preventing Childhood Obesity Through Play

“Play” what kind of images does that word bring to mind. As an adult when I hear the word “play” I get excited. I feel happy and very willing to participate. I think about other words like fun, joy and happiness. Now how about these words “work out” or ” exercise”. Did you feel your body just sink? Do you feel energized and invigorated about taking part in this activity. Not so much right, you can think of all the things that need to get done and that are really more important than working out or exercising.

Why is this important to explore? Our children are influenced by how we feel about things. If we don’t have enthusiasm about a particular topic or subject, they are likely not to have it either. If they see us dragging ourselves to the gym or studio or complaining about going to work out, how happy do you think they are going to be about doing it.

It would be a lot easier to get our children involved if we looked at moving our bodies from the aspect of play. In our minds we would feel much better about doing it also. Let’s play catch. Let’s play kick the ball. Let’s play hopscotch or jump rope or who’s got the bean bag or swing on the swing in the park. In all of the mentioned activities we are moving our bodies burning calories and hopefully we are also having fun.


When you play there’s no time limit. You are so lost in the activity and having fun that you don’t even think about the time. You have a big smile on your face and you feel great. You are probably laughing and acting silly and goofy. You will probably notice that your competitive spirit starts to come out and you want to win. This drives you harder to do your best so that you can win, which calls for more energy and more time.

Sure you may get a little winded but you can always call a time out or take a break. You don’t have to be perfect or do anything perfectly but you do have to do something. Get going and get active is the name of the game. You will be spending quality time with your child or children. You will also be leading by example and this is great for your child.


So start to look at the things that you and your child can do from the aspect of play. Even silly party games like pin the tail on the donkey and cracking open a pinata get the body moving and burn excess energy. If because of work and timing you aren’t able to participate allowing your children just to play at the park or team sports are excellent forms of play also.

Lastly, you child might not be ready for team sports yet. Think about creating a play date with some of their friends where it is centered around some activity where they are moving their bodies and not just sitting and playing videos game. Skating is a great activity that comes to mind. If you child is more academic than athletic why not try word hop scotch.

Try these suggestions and let me know how they turn out. If you have had success with something different please share it with us, we’d love to hear from you . Also please pick up a free ebook on healthy eating and activities that you can do with your child at http://www.healthykidsweightloss.com

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