All eyes on you: healthy habits for families - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

All eyes on you: healthy habits for families


MADISON (WKOW) -- Kids often look to their moms and dads as role models.

And with childhood obesity being a major concern these days perhaps parents need to lead the way by keeping active themselves.

There is research to show if parents smoke, their kids are more likely to smoke.

If parents swear, their kids are more likely to swear.

So, if parents get out and get activem will their kids will do the same?

The experts say, yes, but be sure to find the right activity.

Mike Davanzo runs twice a week with his 12-year-old son Adrian.

"He keeps up with me pretty good.  It's how do i keep up with him, usually", says dad.

Eating a healthy diet and staying active are the best ways to live a longer, healthier life.

We want that for our kids, and experts say we should lead the way.

"You can't underestimate your value as a role model.", says Randy Clark.

Clark is the Director of the Exercise Science Laboratory at the UW Health Sports Medicine Center.

By exercising with your kids, he says you're not only helping improve their health, you're also spending good quality time with them.

But if you want them to continue with it, he says there is one word to describe the types of activities you should choose.

"Fun, it's gotta be fun. If the kids are having a good time they will repeat it."

It also helps to get your child's input, like letting them choose the route and time of day for the workout.

Also, Clark says start out slow, don't push them too hard, and always reward them.

"Positive reinforcement, it's just like the role modeling, catch them doing something right, congratulate them, tell them great job."

Clark says try not to push your child too hard in one direction or another, encourage them to try a lot of different activities or sports.

The Surgeon General now recommended that kids get at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day.

That exercise should be moderate in intensity, that means it should make them slightly out of breath and slightly sweaty.

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