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The United States leads the nation in obesity rates and early mortality, directly linked to obesity-related diseases. Unfortunately, the rates of obesity are not exclusive to the adult population, and more than 40 percent of American children are overweight. When children are overweight, it causes a long chain of life-long effects, including unhealthy habits, continued weight gain, early onset chronic disease, and premature death. Keeping healthy is a family affair, and it is important to stay active as a family. Here, we will discuss a few benefits to engaging in physical activity together and how you can make that possible.
The goal of all parents is to have children that eventually grow into adults and move on to their own lives. Everyone knows that, despite the best parenting, children will grow to be their own people. This is what makes individuals unique and is something that should be celebrated. However, parents influence their children in every aspect of their lives and help develop their habits — good or bad. As a parent, you are managing several different aspects of your child’s development simultaneously. While it may seem daunting to ensure that your child is eating well, getting enough sleep, getting the right vaccinations, being intellectually stimulated enough, exploring their individuality, being challenged academically, getting the support and encouragement they need, being properly disciplined, brushing their teeth, learning manner, colors, shapes, letters, and numbers; it can seem impossible to keep up with it all. When you value physical activity in your own life, it makes it easier to set the example and engage in active play as though it were second nature, not another task on your to-do list. The habits that children establish when they are young often carry over to when they are young adults and even after they have left your direct care. Help your children value physical activity throughout their life by making it part of their routine as youngsters.
There are things that, as parents, we tell our children to do because “I said so.” While this may be necessary for some things, children follow examples much more readily than directions. Children are constantly learning by observing the environment around them. When they are told they should do something, but do not see others doing it, they are less likely to participate. When you set the example by engaging in physical activity with them, they learn that that is what normal is.
Doing anything together helps to increase quality time and promotes family bonding. However, physical activity, specifically, is great for encouraging family bonding because it reduces stress hormones (cortisol) and increases happy hormones (endorphins) that help make your family members feel even better about being together and makes the activity a much more positive experience! Family-friendly physical activity should be things that are fun and engaging for all of the members of the family. Playing basketball in your driveway is probably a better idea than heading to the local track to run some laps together!
At Rebounderz Indoor Trampoline Park in Grand Rapids, we know how important family time is and how important physical activity is. That’s why we combine the two and provide a fun place for families to come and be physically active together! Kids of all ages will enjoy jumping in our huge indoor trampoline arena, and there are plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained. Play trampoline dodgeball or basketball or give our Ninja Warrior course a try! Check out our family specials and schedule some quality, active family bonding today!