Celebrate Childhood Obesity Awareness Month by resolving to visit a different park every weekend with your family to encourage your children to be healthy and fit.

September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and the statistics surrounding this health crisis are alarming. One in 3 children in the United States is overweight or obese. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. [1]

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence improves strength and endurance, helps build healthy bones and muscles, helps control weight, reduces anxiety and stress, increases self-esteem, and may improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels. [2]

Listed are Austin area parks that offer fun physical activity for children and support the healthy living tips described in The Step Diet.

Dr. K’s Recommendations for 4 Austin Parks to Visit Every Weekend in September

  • Round Rock Dog Depot – Running and jumping, fetching and catching frisbees with the family pet are activities your child will enjoy for a few fun-filled hours. The Round Rock Dog Depot offers plenty of challenging obstacle courses, dog runs, and lots of open space for your child to have fun alongside your family’s furry friend.
  • Meadow Lake Park – Physical activities can bring families together. Fishing at Meadow Lake Park is a healthy activity for your child that also encourages family bonding. Biking on the concrete trails will require a helmet and appropriate padding. A jungle gym and swing sets are also on the premises.
  • Northwest Greenway at Mueller Lake Park – Shaded and large, this park has two playscapes and several swing sets, with plenty of open green space for a rousing game of Hide-and-Seek. Play basketball on the covered courts, or ride a bike on the park’s beautiful nature trails.
  • Zilker Metropolitan Park – Encourage your child to play Frisbee Golf, bike ride on designated trails, and challenge themselves on the jungle gyms in the northwest section of Austin’s favorite park. Get your child’s heart rate up by swimming a few laps in the famed natural springs-fed Barton Springs Pool, nestled in the heart of Zilker.

Don’t let childhood obesity become a health issue that plagues your family. Resolve to combat this disease with physical activity by visiting a different park in the Austin area every weekend in September. Help your child put down the video game controller, get outside in the sunlight, and on the right track with healthy living tips from The Step Diet.

Click here to see all 12 family health challenges

 

About the Author

Dr. Katalenas

Dr. Katalenas is a pediatrician and owner of The Pediatric Center of Round Rock and the author of the book "The Step Up Diet: From Scratch… The Quality, Quantity, and Timing Solution to Childhood Obesity", a guide to healthy cooking and eating for busy families.