September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Recently we learned that childhood obesity is on a slight decline in Iowa and that is great news. But, it is important that we continue to promote a healthy lifestyle and help future generations become even healthier.
If we look at this as a “teaching moment” and commit ourselves to helping our children get into better shape, the whole family will get into better shape too! You can help your family move more each day and have fun with it. Eat right and move more; it’s that simple. Think about what your family can do to be active together. It doesn’t have to be expensive, start by taking a family walk! Check with the Parks and Recreation Department and see what’s going on this fall.
Make Time and Make it a Priority!
- Plan ahead. Make physical activity a regular part of your family's schedule. Write it on a family activity calendar.
- Pick activities requiring no new skills, such as walking or climbing stairs.
- Identify free times. Keep track of your daily activities for one week. Pick two 30-minute time slots you could use for family activity time.
- Add physical activity to your daily routine. For example, walk or ride your bike to work, school, or a friend's house, have a family dog walk, exercise while you watch TV, or park farther away from your destination.
- Try to walk, jog, or swim during your lunch hour, or take fitness breaks instead of coffee breaks. Try doing something active after dinner with your family.
- Plan activities for weekends.
- Ask friends and family to not only support, but also join you in your efforts.
- Set up a party or other social event with activities that get people moving, like dancing or having a jump rope contest.
- Exercise with friends.
- Play with your kids or ask them to join you for an exercise video or fitness game.
- Develop new friendships with physically active people. Join a group, such as one of the fitness centers, or the bike club. Start a walking or hiking club.
One should never start an exercise program without checking with his or her health care provider. Visit the Health Trust Physicians Clinic in Winterset, or the Earlham Clinic in Earlham and get the “a-ok” to get you and your family into shape!
Mark your calendars for our annual Start Somewhere Wa1K! Wednesday, October 5th at noon we will gather together to walk 1K – it’s about15 minute stroll. We meet at the North entrance to the Hospital on Hutchings Street. It’s free and a nice chance to get a bit of fresh air and a little exercise. We are partnering with Hy-Vee, Fareway and Montross Pharmacy to encourage everybody in Winterset to take the first step to better health.
We thank the National Center for Disease Control for some of these tips.