Whether it’s taking a family walk on a Saturday morning,or after dinner, or washing the car together, We Can!™encourages you to get active to maintain a healthy weight.
By getting active, you’re using calories you store up fromeverything you eat over the course of a day. Everything your familyeats and drinks—from the cereal eaten at breakfast to thesodas they drank with dinner—is stored as energy. If thisstored energy isn’t used, it creates an imbalance that canlead to weight gain.
However, balancing your food intake and activity IS possible,and it’s not as hard as you might think. Learn more about theenergy balance equation. When we talk about increasing yourphysical activity, we’re not asking you and your kids totrain like marathon runners (unless you want to, of course).
Strenuous physical activity can burn a lot of energy; however,everyday activities use energy, too. Simply parking further awayfrom the grocery store and walking the extra distance can increaseeveryone’s energy output.
It’s up to you to choose the activities that are right foryou and your family. Importantly, it’s also up to you tostick with it. We live in a world where it’s easy to be gluedto our computers—sending e-mails, playing video games,shopping—both during and after work. And, it’s awfullytempting just to plop down in front of the TV after a long day atwork, too.
It’s the same for kids. They spend hours sitting at theirschool desks, come home to sit and do homework, and then maybe theychat with some friends online or sit in front of the TV,texting.
Add to the mix that studies show that people often snack whenthey’re in front of a screen (TV or computer), and you have arecipe for weight gain.
So, fight the urge to slouch on the couch. Instead, get up andgo, and set an example for the youngsters in your life. Physicalactivity can do more than just keep your waistline trim, it canmake you healthier by:
- Relieving stress
- Improving your sleep
- Making your bones and muscles stronger
- Making you feel full of energy
- Building overall strength and endurance
- Helping you feel good about yourself
- Giving you something to do when you’re bored
- Providing a way to connect to family and friends
Find out more everyday tips and other ways to get active byvisiting our Tips for Getting Active, Make Family Time Active Time,Balance Food and Activity, and Make an Activity Plan pages.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends inthe 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans that childrenand teens be physically active for at least 60 minutes on most, ifnot all, days. Learn more about how much activity you and yourfamily should get.