by Marcus Leach
It is no secret that there is a growing number of children who are overweight, even bordering on obese. In fact childhood obesity is now thought to cost the NHS around £4.2billion every year, according to estimates put forward by the Royal College of Paediatrics. If you are worried about your child's weigh then it is time to act now, and what better way to do it than by incorporating the whole family.
As well as looking at what you are eating as a family at meal times why not start introducing regular activity to promote fitness. Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise when it comes to utilising the majority of muscles in the body and helps improve aerobic fitness. Being a low-impact sport, it is not too strenuous on children, but it will make a difference to their overall level of fitness and keep them active.
Aerobic fitness levels have also decreased in adults, and lack of exercise could increase chances of a heart disease or stroke. Swimming for an hour burns approximately 500 calories and acts as a mini resistance workout, due to the fact that water is about 800 times denser than air, so it is a great way to shape up.
Going swimming as a family has numerous benefits. Parents will be motivated to go and do exercise and it will be more of a fun and sociable activity for children, instead of them sticking to just swimming lessons. By the whole family heading down to the local pool, it will also help children’s confidence in water as they will become more familiar with it, and it will help to develop their swimming skills.
Children won’t necessarily see swimming as a chore either as it can be made fun too. Parents can alternate between more ‘serious’ swimming, such as lane swimming and ‘fun swim’ which involves slides and inflatables. Therefore they will be increasing their aerobic fitness as well as having family fun.
Image courtesy of chrisroll