If every kid was getting enough exercise, there probably wouldn’t be a need for need for Hot Ground Gym. Sure, it would still be a fun place to go, considering it makes a great kid’s birthday party venue. But there wouldn’t be as much need for the Junior Boots aspect of our Vernon Hills kids’ gym, one that helps kids get stronger and, in some cases, lose the extra weight that they’ve been put on.

You might wonder where the extra weight comes from. It’s often one of the factors below, or a combination of them.

Lack of Exercise

It’s easy to say “well, kids are kept inside all day, and they’re not forced to go out and get exercise.” There’s no doubt that that’s certainly part of the problem. There are so many enticing things to do inside that going out just isn’t as appealing. Also, parents are sometimes afraid to send kids out, plus the fact that air conditioning feels good on a hot day, and it’s easy to see why kids just aren’t getting the outdoor exercise that they might have in decades past.

But it’s not all an exercise situation that has lead to the recent plague of childhood obesity. Let’s take a look at some of the other reasons that kids of today are gaining weight.

Eating Too Much

Mention any form of obesity and most people think of a person taking in too many calories. In fact, this reason usually jumps into people’s minds even before the “lack of exercise” we mentioned above.

While it is possible to become overweight due to eating too many apples, it’s often the kind of foods that kids (and adults) are eating that lead to weight gain. When most people hear the words “empty calories,” they often think of beer. And while kids aren’t drinking beer, many of them are drinking their calories, and most of them are empty. Soda is definitely one of the culprits, but scientists are finding out that juice really isn’t that good for kids either. Juices are often so processed that they simply don’t have much nutrition left in them. It’s much better to eat the actual fruit, as they still contain essentials such as water-soluble fiber.

Of course, there’s also the ubiquitous nature of food, and especially snacks, in the home. Potato chips come to mind, as do sugary snacks like granola bars and Pop Tarts. The entire industry is designed to create snacks that have the perfect combination of sugar, salt, fat, and mouthfeel so that we all eat more than we should. Even so-called healthy snacks often aren’t because if they might take away calories (sugar) but end up doubling down on the fat.

All of this to say that you have to work with your child in order to establish healthy eating habits. Not doing so could mean that they’ll struggle with the way they eat for their entire lives.

Genetics

Kids of the past didn’t struggle with being sedentary or having access to excessive calories. So even if they were genetically predisposed to be overweight, their movement and caloric intake wouldn’t allow them to become so. But today, with unlimited calories available, anyone predisposed to put on pounds finds it easy to do so.

There’s nothing that can be done to change a child’s genetics, so they might simply have to be more careful about their caloric intake and their exercise than someone who isn’t as likely to have their genes make them heavier. Life isn’t fair, but some extra work can make it a lot moreso.

At Hot Ground Gym, we provide activities for kids that they love, and they might not even realize how much exercise they’re getting as they run through our obstacle course. If your child is too sedentary, prone to weight gain, or both, we can help get them healthier. Remember, it’s not always about the weight of an individual, but about how healthy they are as a whole. We want to foster that interest in exercise that will get their heart moving and build muscle, all the while increasing their problem-solving skills and social skills at the same time, Check out our Junior Boots program, good for kids from Kindergarten through Grade 8, right here!