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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Obesity, health and the family

  • I think most would agree that preventative action is effective when dealing with potential problems.
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  • I think most would agree that preventative action is effective when dealing with potential problems. It has been my experience that proactively taking steps in advance to prevent a problem is less taxing and far more effective than waiting till an issue arises and reacting afterwards to make repairs. I would like to challenge you to see the benefit in using this concept when it comes to improving the health of you and your family.
    Preventing and dealing with weight mangagement and obesity works best when the entire family is involved. Children typically cannot change their exercise and eating habits by themselves. They usually need the support of their families. So you see, it is very important to note that success in establishing good health habits, starts right at home. Obesity is usually caused by kids overeating and exercising too little. We shoud strive to create new family habits around healthy eating and increased physical activity. Over time this can be very effective in helping not only our kids, but the entire family stay trim and healthy.
    We must strive to change family behaviors. Many times the television, video games, or computer take up too much of our time. To much of the wrong type and amount of foods eaten is another contributor towards ineffective weight control. Sometimes breaking these family habits can be difficult, especially if everyone is not ready and willing to do so. This means it is very important to make small, progressive changes until you get there. Just try to remember that it takes time and effort to stop bad habits and develop healthy new ones.
    Small changes make a very big difference over time. For example, turning off the TV during dinner, changing from soda to water, taking your daily vitamins, making a decision to eat more healthy, or taking a family walk once or twice a week after dinner can be very effective. Try setting some specific goals for each member of your family.
    You know your family better than anyone else, so just make sure you set realistic goals. Your childs goal could be to eat fresh fruits and vegetables for an afternoon snack. You may set a family goal of eating out once or twice a week, instead of everyday. Just have fun with it and make small healthy changes wherever you can. The new changes may take some time getting used to, but stick to the plan and evaluate your progress. If your find your plan is working well, build off of it to continue adding further improvements.
    If your plan is not working, it is certainly ok to establish more realistic goals that you and your family can achieve.
    As you work towards making healthy habits a lifestyle, it is also important for the home environment to contribute to the success of your plans. Parents can establish a standard by always encouraging the importance of healthy nutrition.
    Page 2 of 2 - Make sure healthy fruits, vegetables, vitamins, water, and whole grain choices are always available. Remove high calorie, high fat foods from the home, and just buy them occasionally.
    Of course you cannot forget the importance of making exercise and physical activity a priority in your household every day. Encouraging the kids to stay active with siblings, family, and friends outdoors, or at the gym is great exercise. It’s all about having fun, staying active, and improving our health and nutrition as a family.
    I challenge everyone to be a positive role model when it comes to keeping your family active.
    The best way to get kids involved is to make the committment to healthy lifestyle habits yourself. Our children watch what we eat, how much, and when we eat. They also watch how active we are, so let’s stay active.
    Celebrate progress and offer major praise to your family members when they do well.
    Making changes can be challenging with life’s busy schedules, but if your family works together and supports each other, there is no health and fitness goal any of you cannot reach!
    Until next week, please make it a nutritious and healthy day! For more information about getting started on weight loss and healthy nutrition products stop by Reggie’s Personal Training & Nutrition, 104 E. Main, Shawnee or call Reggie @ (405) 613-0237.

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