Ahhh summertime! This is the time of year when thoughts turn to camping or sending kids off to camp. If your child is overweight you may be thinking that instead of just sending them off to camp so they can learn to make necklaces out of beads, it may be a better idea to send them off to summer weight loss camps so they can make permanent changes for the better in their health and fitness.
It’s been found that over 15% of teenagers in the U.S. are obese. Since this is such a big problem camps to help kids lose weight are gaining in popularity. Any teen who is obese or overweight may be a good candidate for these types of camps. One of the big advantages to these camps is all the kids are in the same boat. It’s not like sending your kid to a regular camp where they will always be thought of (or worse, referred to) as the fat kid. At a weight loss camp they are just another kid.
A good weight loss camp will have only positive reinforcement exercises. At this point your kid probably doesn’t need a boot camp type atmosphere where they will be ridden into the ground. If your kid is overweight they’ve probably gotten enough verbal abuse already from kids at school and maybe even a little from their own friends. What they need now are the tools, encouragement and a gentle push to keep them moving (literally) in the right direction.
A well run camp will focus more on healthy lifestyle choices, which will automatically lead to weight loss, than to some ‘quick fix’ diet approach. Showing your kids what they should be eating, how it should be prepared, how often and how much to eat is what will make the difference in their life… for the rest of their life.
Kids also need to know that keeping hydrated is very important. Many people, especially teens, don’t drink enough water throughout their day. It’s important to keep your body hydrated so it can function the way it’s meant to. Keeping hydrated allows your body to flush out toxins and if you don’t drink enough water your body will actually retain water (making you look bigger and bloated) because it thinks it’s being dehydrated and it wants to conserve all the water it can.
Of course, all camps will also encourage physical activity so your kids can learn better habits when it comes to their overall health. Our society has gotten extremely sedentary over the last several years and no where is this trend showing up more than with our kids. Learning that ‘working out’ doesn’t have to be on a treadmill or in a gym but rather can be something fun like swimming or playing a game. When people, of any age, get over the idea that physical activity needs to be boring then they can commit to exercise for their lifetime.
If your kid, or you, needs to learn better lifestyle habits so they can get into better shape and maintain that healthy weight for life then summer weight loss camps might be just the way to go. It’s less threatening for many since everyone at camp is in the same overall situation. Give it a try, you have a lot to lose!