NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Many children have been forced to stay at home to keep safe with no sports practice or dance classes to go to.
That means they haven’t been moving around much.
This could be putting them at greater risk for obesity, but there are some things that can be done now to prevent that.
For a lot of kids, there’s been an increase in screen time and eating and a decrease in moving.
“Most of the kids that we’re seeing are putting on a little weight. I mean, it’s hard to blame them,” said Dr. Minu George, a general pediatrician at the Cohen Children’s Medical Center.
George says that’s the key — go easy on them right now.
“Make this a fun thing and not something that we are stressing our children about,” she told CBS2’s Alice Gainer.
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“We started seeing signs of anxiety,” parent Daniel Ascani said.
Ascani, a mental health therapist, says after seeing the effects being cooped up had on his young daughter, he decided to start taking walks with her and built from there.
“We take the bicycle a lot. We try to go by the river,” he said.
“Everyone’s going to have lost a bit of strength, so it’s a matter of just like getting back into those fun things that they haven’t been doing,” said Michele Kelber, who owns Gantry Kids and Teens fitness programs in Long Island City.
She says it’s all about creating healthy habits again.
For example, take 45 or 30 minutes out of your day and start with a hike or get your child a jump rope.
“Institute a brain break and it’s like, alright you’re gonna do 10 squats,” Kelber said.
Recognizing the need to get kids moving, the Hoboken Public School District will also be offering a variety of daily hourly fitness classes for children in the city at JFK Stadium this summer.
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Doctors say it’s also important for parents to get out and exercise with their children.
“Not for nothing, it’s good for us, too,” George said. “If you’re sedentary for a prolonged period of time, it can affect your heart, it can affect your muscles, you can be short of breath.”
Alicia Williams and her daughter were out enjoying the fresh air.
“I like to run around and do exercise,” Williams’ daughter said.
Williams noted under normal circumstances, people would be at work or school.
“This is actually a good time to spend time and just kind of come up with creative things to do with them,” she said.
A way to keep the mind, body and heart healthy together.