child and computerBy Guest Blogger Virginia Cunningham

Virginia Cunningham is a freelance health writer for NorthWest in Los Angeles. As a mother of three who works online everyday, she can see the pros and cons of connectivity and social media for her children, and strives to strike a healthy balance.

Children today are born connected to all that encompasses the interweb. At a very young age they are introduced to smartphones, tablets, laptops and MP3 players. They learn how to navigate them easily, making all sorts of information about the world readily available at their fingertips. Studies have even shown that children have a strong emotional connection to the internet. This is truly incredible.

Unfortunately, children and adults tend to get glued to their computers; playing games, searching the web staying overly-involved in social networking. This turns them into couch potatoes, completely uninterested in heading outside to get some exercise.
 Couch potato syndrome probably accounts for the one-third of obese adults living in the United States today –and that goes without mentioning the number of overweight and obese children there are. But is being connected really harming our families? One could argue against it.
 Benefits of Staying Connected
Facebook has over 800 million active users. Some of these users are personal trainers and fitness enthusiasts. They share their workout progress, workout plans and motivational materials like quotes and success stories. If you are trying to lose weight on a budget, Facebook is a great place to start for quick health advice.
 Many people also follow various blogs for their daily dose of trending nutrition news. “Mom blogs” are the latest rage, and many mothers around the world are sharing the simple and nutritious dinner recipes or showing people how to hide their children’s veggies in their food.
 There are many apps on smartphones that can help track your caloric intake to ensure you eat creating a deficit in calories if trying to lose weight. Other apps also include healthy recipe information and barcode scanners that give packaged foods a letter grade based on how wholesome they are for you and your family.
 On Instagram, people share photos of the healthy meals they are eating –these posts usually link back to tips and tricks their website or blog. A person can also share personal weight loss progress on IG. This is definitely an easy way to help yourself and your children stay involved with health related topics.
 Social media websites become a part of your everyday routine, just like brushing your teeth. So why not add friends that are knowledgeable about health and fitness to your news feed that you would otherwise be looking at anyway?
 Ways To Use The Internet To Boost Your Health
 If you’re feeling sick and cannot see the doctor because you need to work or it’s a Saturday (of course), WebMD and other medical websites can aid in figuring out what the health problem is exactly. Perhaps you’re merely infected with a common cold. The website will give you directions on how to heal faster.
 Large health care mongers like Kaiser are also utilizing the web to help make and cancel doctor’s appointments or easily find a specialist. This is great because it can be done on the go and in a pinch. The internet has definitely made lives easier in this way.
Although it can sometimes get addicting and promote laziness, the internet is also full of a wealth of information. With this kind of intelligence, you and your child can live healthier, happier lifestyles. It’s just up to you to be proactive about it.