We have all heard about the growing problem of unhealthy, overweight children. Perhaps you know a child or teenager who is struggling with his or her weight. It is not easy for kids to be overweight or obese in this world, especially with the potential for mean social media posts and bullying or teasing at school.
Today, almost 25% of kids and teenagers in the United States and other developed nations are considered overweight or obese. That extra weight puts them at risk for developing serious health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and asthma.
Kids also suffer an emotional toll if they are too heavy. Overweight children can often have difficulty keeping up with their peers and taking part in sports and other physical activities. Other people may tease and alienate them, which can cause low self-esteem, negative body image, and even serious anxiety and depression.
One way to help encourage more activity, and weight loss, is with a fun gadget like a fitness tracker. The good news is that you can get one that is specifically geared for children. This is not only a fitness device, but it is something that could also radically improve the life of a young person forever.
Why do kids need an activity tracker?
It can be very difficult to get kids up and moving. Let’s face it. School can be tiring, and it is easier to be a couch potato than it is to go outside and play. Don’t even get me started on how many kids are becoming addicted to video games. If kids are overweight when they are very young, it is likely that they will continue this as they grow older.
Why is it important for kids to be physically active?
Possible health problems associated with being overweight or obese:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty breathing
- Lack of mobility
- High cholesterol levels
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Gallbladder disorders
- Sadness, depression or anxiety
- Lack of social interaction
- Poor overall quality of life
The good news is that childhood obesity is not only reversible, but also preventable. We can improve the health of our children by helping them track their activity each day. We can use an activity tracker as a great motivational tool. Not only can you help your child set goals, but you can work on these goals together.
Will my child be able to use it?
Absolutely yes! Most children are very good at using cell phones and other tech gadgets already. The fitness trackers designed for kids can be easily learned, since the technology is very similar to what they are already familiar with. And, unlike video games that lead to too much sitting around, these activity bands encourage movement, a healthy weight, and better overall health and fitness.
Do kids really use them? A real life success story…
We taught our cousin, Jackson, who is only 5 years old, to use his fitness tracker like a pro. Last Christmas, we gave him a Kids Garmin vívofit jr. Broken Lava Kids Activity Tracker.
It is geared just for kids. He loves it so much that he wears it all the time, to school and on the weekends.
He was overweight kindergartener when he first started to use his tracker. He is now in the second grade, and he no longer sits around on the playground because he cannot keep up with his classmates. Today Jackson is active, involved, and so much happier.
It was not a quick weight loss scheme, just a simple way to get him more active every day. He quickly started challenging himself to become more active because it was fun to get higher numbers of steps and calories burnt each day.
Jackson is much more active now, and his parents have seen a huge, positive change in their son. Even his teachers have noticed, and this has made Jackson even more confident.
What can I do to encourage healthy habits in my children?
More than anything else, set a good example by modeling healthy habits for the young people in your life. This goes way beyond using your own fitness activity tracker. It goes way beyond teaching them how to use their fitness tracker for kids.
We are talking about living every day to the fullest, and making healthy choices. This includes enjoying nutritious foods together and staying active together.
Make shopping for fruits and vegetables fun, whether you are visiting a local farmers’ market or your neighborhood grocery store. Picking your own fruits and veggies at a local farm is a fun family activity, too.
Whatever you can do to keep your kids moving is a good thing. Most doctors recommend that kids have at least one hour of physical activity each day. You can be a role model in this area. If you are active, chances are good that your kids will be, too.
Here are some fun ideas to encourage more physical activity for children:
- Playing at a park
- Karate classes
- Playing tag
- Shooting basketballs
- Yoga for kids
- Walking the dog
- Jumping rope
- Exploring a playground
- Playing soccer
Putting it all together
Just think about kids today. There is no doubt that this current generation of children is far more technologically advanced than any other generation in history. Now, with the help of kids fitness trackers, we can get that technology on our side. These wearable tech devices can actually make fitness fun.
As adults, we need to make sure that they understand how important physical activity, health, and fitness are in their lives (and their futures!) A small investment now can reap a lifetime of health and wellness.
With encouragement and support, especially with a device that is so convenient and easy to use, we can provide our kids the foundation they need for a healthy, happy life. Remember that kids tend to imitate what they see, and the adults in their lives are important role models. This includes how fit and active we choose to be.