Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Building Healthy Habits This Summer

Summer break is almost here, and that means so many kids and teens will lose the structure of daily lessons and physical activity.  Research shows that children gain weight twice as fast in summer compared to the school year. When school ends, they are also at risk of falling behind academically! It’s critical for children to maintain learning and exercise throughout the summer.

Building healthy habits now can help to ensure that your child isn't at risk for obesity and keep them on track for next school year!! I am so thankful that my boys' school hands out to each student a Summer Bridge Book to help them from falling behind during the summer.  It's just one activity page per day so it's not too time consuming!

Here are some ideas to help build healthy habits with your kids this summer!

1. 20 Minutes/3 times a week: Help your kids build stamina and support healthy growth with vigorous activity for at least 20 minutes, three times a week.
  • Try: Kicking, catching or chasing a ball.  Pedaling and pushing with a bike, rollerblades or scooter. Bonus: Set and achieve a family health goal by teaming up for community or charity races, walks or bike rides!
2. Build brain power: With plenty of sleep and smart foods!!  Doctors recommend between 10 and 12 hours of sleep per day for kids ages 5 to 12, and even more if they are younger. Be sure kids get at least five daily servings of fruit and veggies, the minimum number of servings nutritionists recommend for maintaining healthy child development.  *I also can't stress enough: WATER!!  Water is awesome for brain power and so much healthy than juice in the hot summer heat!

3. Teach your child confidence and compassion: With self-esteem and teamwork, kids can feel connected to their family, friends and communities.
  • Try volunteering with your kids to help them discover the rich rewards that come from helping others! Help your children learn to both fail and succeed by trying new competitions, taking risks and learning about themselves.
4. Foster an appetite for reading: Discover the power of knowledge by reading to and with your children. Build an early and ongoing love for books by helping kids read at every age and every stage of their development!
  • Try to create a summer reading list that will help keep your kids on track for the next school year!  Also, check with your local library, most will have fun summer reading activities and contests!  The library is a great rainy day activity!
5.  Kids grow up happiest when they can participate in the activities or subjects they love. Help your children figure out their passion with exposure to a wide range of activities, including nature, sports and art. Allow kids to ultimately decide which activity inspires them most.
  • Since I work full time, the boys will be spending most of the summer with my mom, but they will also be participating in some summer camps.  I didn't want to just sign them up for what I wanted, I wanted them to pick things that interested them, but encouraged them to try new things as well!

What do you do during the summer months to help keep your kids on track with school and fitness?

About the Author

Hi there! My name is Nichole!

I have a passion for fitness and helping others!

My family IS my life. I know how hard it can be trying to juggle it all. My goal is to live a long, healthy life to see my children grow up, so our fitness and health is very important to me!

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