Family LIfe

Inspiring the Next Generation
by Tracey Mallett,

Obesity in children has tripled in the last 20 years and obese children are now likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, upper respiratory problems and severe asthma. The increasing amount of fast food available and the decreased activity level of our children are creating a massive problem for the next generation. We live in a world of computers, motorized scooters, video games, the Internet and the iPod. It's all about convenience, which doesn't demand a lot of energy.

Parents can be great motivators to teach children that to move the body and exercise is fun and exhilarating. This starts at young age. They watch and mimic you in everything that you do. My daughter's four-year-old friend commented to his mom "why don't you exercise like Amber's mommy?" It took her by surprise. She had no idea that her child was even aware of exercise. This gave her the boost she needed and now she's finally started to incorporate walking into her weekly hectic schedule. Healthy children's lifestyles need to start with the adults first. How can we expect our children to be active if we aren't?

Together as a family you can do the following:

  • Make healthy choices -- Decrease fast foods, increase veggies and fruit. Educate your children on the benefits of eating healthy. Make a chart with small boxes that they can tick off everyday when they eat their veggies and fruit. Remember we're aiming for five servings of each a day.

  • Encourage your child to ride his bike to school or walk instead of driving. This gives you a little extra exercise too.

  • Increase physical activity -- Go for a family hike in the beautiful great outdoors. Ride bikes together, play a simple game of basketball or soccer. It's very important that you schedule at least one activity together as a family that promotes exercise at least once a week.

  • Family based changes -- This new healthy lifestyle is not just for your children. It has to be for the whole family, otherwise it will not have any importance or urgency to adhere to.

Inspiration for your children comes from your healthy choices. So get off the couch and start making small changes to create a healthier and happier family!

Tracey MallettAbout the author:
Tracey Mallett ( is an internationally-recognized certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist. She is the author of the forthcoming book, "Sexy in 6: Sculpt Your Body with the 6 Minute Quick Blast Workout." Tracey is the creator and star of the "3-In-1 Pregnancy System," for pre- and post-natal mothers. Her newest videos are "Renew You" and "Super Body BootCamp." A proud mother of two, Tracey, now lives in Los Angeles.

* Read more of Tracey's articles on StorkNet! *

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