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Claudann Jones

Help your child stay active by encouraging and engaging the whole family in an appropriate amount of physical activity and avoid too much sedentary time. In addition to being fun for children, regular physical activity has many health benefits, including:

• Strengthening bones

• Decreasing blood pressure

• Reducing stress and anxiety

• Increasing self-esteem

• Helping with weight management

Children should participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity most days, preferably daily. Remember that children imitate adults. Start adding physical activity to your own daily routine and encourage your child to join you. Set aside certain days of the week for those family fitness days.

Some examples of moderate intensity physical activity include brisk walking, playing tag, jumping rope, playing soccer, swimming and dancing.

In addition to encouraging physical activity, help children avoid too much sedentary time. Although quiet time for reading and homework is fine, limit the time your children watch television, play video games or surf the internet to no more than two hours per day. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend television viewing for children 2 or younger. Instead, encourage your children to find fun activities to do with family members or on their own that simply involve more activity.

For more information, contact Claudann Jones, Smith County Extension agent for family and community health, at 903-590-2980 or email at cmjones@ag.tamu.edu. Like our Facebook page: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Smith County.

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