Healthy Tip # 62

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Welcome to a new category of my blog simply called ‘Healthy Tips.’ Many times, when I write articles for various publications, I need to find sources for the story. Recently, I wrote an article for Yahoo Shine (click here) and PBS (click here) about keeping kids healthy. I was looking for experts and parents to chime in and give their favorite ‘tips’ to help kids (and their families) lead a healthy lifestyle.

The feedback for the story was amazing. The sources had some fantastic points of view that could not be ignored, and I thought their opinions should be viewed on the Your Health Journal web site.

So, enjoy my new series, with some ‘great’ insight from some ‘great’ people giving exceptional and educational points of view.

Healthy Tip From Vik Khanna

1. The importance of families exercising together

– When families are active together, it is an irreplaceable opportunity for parents to imprint the value of both play and exercise on their kids. In the words of an Indian proverb, “a child is a map of his parents.”

– The play also opens doors to dialogue about everything from healthy eating to school to managing stress and pressure in positive ways.

2. Suggestions / creative ideas to get families to exercise together

– Create a predictable and consistent routine. E.g., when my 8 yo son arrives home from school (3rd grade), he has a snack and, weather- and schedule-permitting, we go outside to play catch, shoot baskets, etc. We do this for up to an hour before transitioning to homework and dinner, all of which must be done before any electronics time.

– Be the on/off switch for TV, computers, and all other electronics.

– Help your child set appropriate goals and cultivate their interests. You don’t have to be an expert to become your child’s coach. Let them try lots of different stuff to find something that captures their interests, and then feed that interest like crazy.

3. Reasons why families are not exercising together as much in our modern day era.

– We are lazy and talk a lot about health, but don’t actually do much about it.

– We have lost focus on why exercise (real exercise, not the dumbed down advice of “take a walk”) is vitally important to both physical and mental/emotional health.

– We are afraid to work.

– We are the most excuse-rich culture on the planet.

Vik Khanna, MHS, PA, Health Consultant, Clinical Exercise Specialist & Cancer Exercise Trainer, Certified by the American College of Sports Medicine