This section is full of tips and ideas to help parents and …
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 from everything you eat over the course of a day. Everything your family eats and drinks—from the cereal eaten at breakfast to the sodas they drank with dinner—is stored as energy. If this stored energy isn’t used, it creates an imbalance that can lead 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 the energy balance equation. When we talk about increasing your physical activity, we’re not asking you and your kids to train 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 away from the grocery store and walking the extra distance can increase everyone’s energy output.
It’s up to you to choose the activities that are right for you and your family. Importantly, it’s also up to you to stick with it. We live in a world where it’s easy to be glued to our computers—sending e-mails, playing video games, shopping—both during and after work. And, it’s awfully tempting just to plop down in front of the TV after a long day at work, too.
It’s the same for kids. They spend hours sitting at their school desks, come home to sit and do homework, and then maybe they chat with some friends online or sit in front of the TV, texting.
Add to the mix that studies show that people often snack when they’re in front of a screen (TV or computer), and you have a recipe for weight gain.
So, fight the urge to slouch on the couch. Instead, get up and go, and set an example for the youngsters in your life. Physical activity can do more than just keep your waistline trim, it can make you healthier by:
Find out more everyday tips and other ways to get active by visiting 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 in the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans that children and teens be physically active for at least 60 minutes on most, if not all, days. Learn more about how much activity you and your family should get.