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June 10, 2014 06:00 PM

Making Exercise A Priority For Children

Sioux Falls, SD

While you might think three years old is a little young for a workout class, this Hi 5 Class at Family Wellness in Sioux Falls is for kids ages three to five.

New research shows the increase in childhood obesity may have peaked, health experts warn the same can't be said about childhood inactivity. New data released by the CDC shows less than half of all kids between 12 and 15 are even close to being fit.

"We just make it part of our daily routine. It's a priority," Amy Top said.

Amy Top's four-year-old son, Will, takes part in exercise classes five days a week while she also gets in her dose of physical activity.

"Just like anything--you have to lead by example. He's not going to learn how to behave unless I teach him," Top said.

"If the kid sees the parents are very active, it's some footsteps they're going to follow as well," Family Wellness Wellness Supervisor Nate Everett said.

Wellness Supervisor Nate Everett also says it's important to make physical activity a habit for kids at a young age.

"It's all about establishing a lifestyle, just like you would establish good eating habits or anything like that at a young age," Everett said.

Whether they're five or 15, another way to encourage your kids to be more physically active is to find activities that they enjoy.

"If it's not fun, it's something they're not going to want to do. If it is fun to them, it doesn't really seem like exercise to them," Everett said.

By showing that physical activity can be fun, Top hopes her son will  incorporate exercise into his routine for years to come.

"If you don't have health, what do you have? It's the most important thing," Top said.

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