My Daughter is quite Overweight, but does not Particularly Overeat

My daughter is quite overweight, but does not particularly overeat. However she always has her head in a book and rarely “plays” like other kids. The only hope I have is that she likes swings. There is not a playground in the area and my wife and I were thinking of installing a swing in the garden which she has assured us she would use every day. Would this provide a good form of exercise?

It’s good that you are aware that your daughter leads a sedentary life. You are also rightfully concerned that she is not getting enough exercise. It is, however, wonderful that she likes to read, a waning pastime with many children due to competition from television, video games and music videos.

Do encourage her to continue to read but also get her the swing. It will be a way of getting her outside in the fresh air and there is a certain amount of activity in swinging. The legs move; the arms hold on tight; the head bobs up and down, back and forth. In other words, she will be active. While it may not be aerobic exercise, it will certainly balance her inactivity. Don’t hold her to the promise of swinging “every day.”

Children do get bored with the same exercise. Do encourage her to take part in group activities and team sports in school or in little leagues. Any sport will do. Just get her out there participating as much as possible. You might try joining her in activities such as tennis, golf, tossing Frisbees or beach balls at the beach–anything to get her moving. And be thankful you have a child who likes to read.

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