Book review, Non-Fiction, Running

Book Review: The Amazing Fitness Adventure for Your Kids

 April was physical activity month for our Simply Healthy Family project.  We’ve been going on more walks, riding scooters, playing kickball and playing the Wii more and I’ve been encouraging the girls to go outside more now that the weather is getting warmer.  I read a great book this month about physical fitness and I wanted to share it for today’s book review.

I was browsing around on Amazon and happened upon this book, The Amazing Fitness Adventure for Your Kids by Amy and Phil Parham (Biggest Loser contestants).  The book features a 90 Day plan for helping your children to become healthier with daily activities/readings for each of the 90 days.

The first section of the book gives a lot of eye opening statistics about weight, health risks associated with obesity and the state of children in America.  I found this especially interesting:

“But for the most part, the number of fat cells a person has is determined in childhood.  When kids become overweight, they create more fat cells than they would if they were at a healthy weight.  Fat cells also have memory.  Once they have been full, they want to be full again.  This is why once someone has been overweight, it becomes much more difficult for him to stay slim later in life.  This is why it is so vital that we help our children get and stay healthy.”

Here are a few other interesting statistics pointed out by Amy and Phil:

  • An obese child between the ages of 10-13 have an 80% chance of becoming an obese adult.
  • 98% of children already have at least one heart disease risk.
  • 24% of adults never exercise.
Amy and Phil share their family’s story from how they ended up on the Biggest Loser ranch to the changes they made when they returned home.  Prior to The Biggest Loser, they were a typical American family.  They were overweight and their kids were overweight.  They drank soda, ate whatever they wanted without regard to portion sizes and never exercised.  The Biggest Loser was a turning point for their entire family and once they returned home they made drastic changes for the sake of their health and their children’s health.
I like that this book is not condescending at all. It is written by people who know what it is like to be overweight and they know the struggles in losing weight and in becoming healthy.  I also love the fact that they lost weight for the right reasons–not to fit into a size 2 dress or to compete in a bikini competition but because they believe that God gave them life for a purpose and they are determined to live it as healthfully as possible.
Amy and Phil are Christians and the book is written from a Christian perspective.  Bible passages are sprinkled throughout and the 90 day guide is written like a devotional.  Each day there is a simple lesson, questions to discuss as a family, and a healthy tip.  During the 90 days, children will learn about healthy foods, why sleep is so important, the importance of drinking water, and how exercise benefits our bodies among many other things!
I have been reading the daily lessons during our lunchtime.  I’ll admit that my twelve year old has given me the side eye at some of the topics (but that’s really not so unusual for a twelve year old anyway!) but the little girls seems to enjoy discussing the questions.
I have enjoyed the encouragement from the book as I try to instill a desire to be physically active in my children.  This month, my twelve year old ran a 5K.  My two little ones have participated in our homeschool girls running group, Girls Run Miles, even though there are days when they really don’t want to.  My middle daughter even told me she wants to be an athlete when she grows up!
Layla ready for Girls Run Miles


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