Most children do not meet the federal health guidelines for exercise, which call for at least an hour of it a day for anyone under the age of 18. Physical inactivity can result in weight gain, especially around the midsection — including visceral fat, a type of tissue deep inside the abdomen that is known to increase inflammation throughout the body. It is also linked to heightened risks for diabetes and cardiovascular complications, even in children, and may contribute to declining brain function: Obese adults often perform worse than people of normal weight on tests of thinking skills.
But having children play and exercise in school is not enough. As adults we owe it to our children to demonstrate healthy patterns whether they have to do with movement or eating. There’s a lot at stake, more than we realize.
If you find yourself in an unhealthy place in your life, start where you are. Release judgment. Love yourself unconditionally. Invest in yourself. Embrace practice. This is ultimately the best example we offer.