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July Spotlight:Youth Health and Fitness

Physical activity is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. In combination with healthy eating, it can help prevent a range of chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer and stroke, which are the three leading causes of death. Physical activity helps control weight, builds lean muscle, reduces fat, promotes strong bone, muscle and joint development, and decreases the risk of obesity. Children need up to 60 minutes of play with moderate to vigorous activity every day to grow up to a healthy weight.

Encourage children and teens can take these fivesimple steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle:

Do More Everyday

Do More Every day: Plan activities with your kids and teens like swimming, tennis, basketball, Frisbee or visit one of Grand Prairie’s recreational centers for fun and active classes. When kids and youth get moving they're more likely to build and keep healthy bones, muscles and joints.

Fruits and VeggiesTry New Fruits and Veggies: Bodies need nutrients – like vitamins, minerals, proteins and carbohydrates – to grow up healthy. These nutrients mainly come from the food you eat. Have your kids join you on food shopping trips or to Grand Prairie’s Farmers Market. Encourage them to try new fruits like guava, papaya, pomegranate and kiwi – there are a lot of sweet and delicious fruits that they can have fun tasting.

Drink WaterDrink Water: Provide kids with a tall glass of water, instead of sugar-sweetened drinks. Make water exciting by adding a slice of lemon, lime, cucumber or watermelon, or try sparkling water.

Break up TV time

Break Up TV time: If kids are going to watch TV or play computer games, break it up! Get kids active by having them pause the video games and get up and get moving during commercial breaks with jumping jacks, push-ups, house chores or some dance moves.

Help make DinnerHelp Make Dinner: Sit down with your family to plan a menu and enjoy spending time together. Browse one of our many healthy recipes or find new ones and have your children participate in the meal preparation.

When it comes to getting your child to exercise, being a fitness role model is important. Set goals and get fit as a family this summer to establish habits that will last a lifetime.

Source: Let's Move