Encourage Your Kids To Become Their Verb

Elizabeth S. Reames  |  8/4/2006 12:20:38 AM

News You Can Use For 08/04/06

If your child is spending more time sitting around than moving about, VERB can help her or him discover that nothing replaces the rush and exhilaration of physical activity.

VERB is a national youth media program of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) targeted to "tweens," 9- to 13-year-olds, that encourages the youth to find an active verb (such as run, paint, sing, bowl, etc.) or several verbs that fit their personality and interests and use "their verbs" to become active.

Launched in 2002, the campaign is helping young people realize that physical activity is fun and cool and can be a part of everyday life, according to LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames.

Kids can go online to the VERB Web site, http://www.verbnow.com, and find games and facts that will help them get active.

Verb Yellowball, for example, has a list of more than 50 physical activities ranging from baton twirling to yoga. Kids can learn more about the activities with facts such as "rowers have been called the world’s most powerful athletes," where the name hula hoop came from and what Sepak Takraw is. A calendar and list of activities are available for them to check off the ones they have tried and others they’re interested in trying.

"Physical activity is critical to reducing the epidemic of overweight among today’s youth," Reames says, pointing out that obesity costs the country $117 billion dollars a year in medical expenses. The percentage of children who are overweight has tripled in the past 20 years.

The USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend that children exercise at least 60 minutes every day. Physical activity promotes healthy growth and development, reduces risk of illness and improves feelings of well-being, energy level and self-confidence.

To increase your child’s physical activity, the nutritionist makes these recommendations:

– Encourage active play and organized exercise activities instead of television and video watching.

– Support kids when they join sports activities and clubs.

– Take part in physical activity with the youth – don’t just sit on the sidelines!

For more information about healthy lifestyles, contact an LSU AgCenter extension agent. For related family and consumer topics, click on the Family and Home link on the LSU AgCenter home page, at www.lsuagcenter.com.

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On the Internet: LSU AgCenter: www.lsuagcenter.com

Source: Beth Reames (225) 578-3929, or breames@agcenter.lsu.edu

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