Keeping Singaporean Kids Fit. Ideas for Parents & Nannies.

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Keeping Singaporean Kids Fit. Ideas For Parents Nannies

As Singapore appears to be following western countries with growing obesity rates and more and more parents are asking how to get their kids fit. Although we have a long way to go to before we can match the west, we as parents we need watch out for the early signs of our children putting on extra weight.

Our Education Department has the right idea when they put the weight-gainers on a special exercise program. But there is only so much that can be done at school. As parents and nannies, we have the major influence in our children’s lifestyle. Here are some quick tips:

Exercise: How many adults get enough? I mean really? It always seems as if there is no time. And kids are great imitators, they will happily mimic their parents sedentary evenings in front of the television. So try to exercise for at least half an hour 3 times a week. It’s still not really enough, but it is a start.

When exercising you will need to do it vigorously enough to perspire and increase your heart rate. You can start by throwing a Frisbee in the park, or just playing badminton downstairs. Any exercise is good, just keep reminding yourself to keep the pace up so that it really has some effect.

If you are able to set a routine and follow it strictly for at least a few weeks, you will find that your kids will eventually start to look forward to it (expect some resistance at first).

For many parents this will simply not be possible. There is just not enough time. This is where a good nanny can help. A young nanny can join in with the kids, an older nanny can organise games downstairs that get the children running about.

“What about study? There is so much pressure from school, they barely have time for their homework! ” I hear you say.

The answer to that is “What about obesity, what about, and what about seeing your kids and healthy?”

And the really good news is that study after study has found a correlation between vigorous physical activity and better academic results. A good place to start your own research into this intriguing fact is here http://www.sparkpe.org/ There is plenty of material on the Internet about the Spark program (not to be confused with the M.O.E.s Singapore Pre-school Accreditation Framework, also known as SPARK), much of which centres around the work of Harvard professor John Ratey. His website is here: http://www.johnratey.com/newsite/index.html

So if you see your kids watching TV, playing with their smart phone or iPad, watching You Tube or updating their Facebook account, do your best to get them outside and whether you are a parent, grandparent or a nanny… play with them!

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