Sneaky Fitness Rescues Texting Tweens

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Startling new research reveals that our kids are spending about 8 hours a day in front of electronic devices like computers, TVs and cell phones. Plus, another recent study found that people who spend most of their days sitting are more likely to have health problems of all kinds.  With a 17% kids' obesity rate in the US, parents can draw the conclusion that it is extremely urgent that we address our kids' inactive lifestyles immediately!

While everyone knows that it is a lost cause to ban these devices, we can counter these alarmingly dangerous influences with a few simple, Sneaky Fitness strategies:

1. "Walk the talk" – Parents can require that kids pace or walk around the house for at least one hour of their phone or texting time (Burns double the calories of sitting) 
 
2.  Parents can replace the computer chair with a simple balance ball (Builds core strength and improves posture)
 
3. Parents can "plant" items in the TV room - such as mini trampoline, Bosu or hippety hop/balance ball – and can require that kids use one of those items for at least one hour of their TV time (Burns at least 143 more calories than sitting)
 
4. Parents can make a rule against "chat 'n chew": that is, no eating in front of the TV or computer or while on phone or other electronic device. This will eliminate mindless eating! (research indicates that children consume substantially more calories in a meal if they are watching television while they eat)
 
Adapted from SNEAKY FITNESS: Fun, Foolproof Ways to Slip Fitness into Your Child's Everyday Life, by Missy Chase Lapine, The Sneaky Chef, and Larysa DiDio (Running Press, Jan 2010)

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