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  This content is selected and controlled by WebMD's editorial staff in collaboration with Sanford Health Systems.

Raising Fit Kids: Healthy Nurtition, Exercise, and Weight

Being fit is something we all aspire to -- both for ourselves and our children. But what does it mean to be fit? Does it mean walking a mile every day? Having salad for lunch? Staying thin enough to fit into last year's bathing suit?

Many people think that eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise are the two most important behaviors that contribute to overall fitness and a healthy weight. But there is more involved. Consider this more holistic view from Chris Tiongson, MD, a pediatrician with Sanford Health, WebMD's FIT educational partner. Tiongson's special interest is overweight children and childhood obesity. "Being fit is about being healthy. It's a balance between mind, body, and spirit, and having everything be in sync," he says.

Introducing the FIT Platform

The FIT Platform combines four aspects of life to create a holistic approach to fit living. Whole-life fitness goes beyond proper nutrition and regular activity. For whole-life fitness, you need to be healthy in each part of your life:

  • How you eat ( FOOD)
  • How you exercise ( MOVE)
  • How you respond to your emotions ( MOOD)
  • How you relax and rest ( RECHARGE)

Being FIT is "optimizing your body's ability to handle life and all of the things that you want to accomplish," says Jenna Johnson, MS, a diabetes center and cardiac rehab manager with Sanford Health.

The FIT Platform gives families a structure to work from to become healthier, says Ronda Rose-Kayser, certified family life educator with Sanford Health. "For families, it can be overwhelming to say, 'We want to change some things. Where do we start?'" Breaking it down into four key areas of life helps provide a focus and a foundation to set goals and start making small, healthy choices, she says.

In her work with families, Rose-Kayser often sees how inattention to any one of the four aspects of healthy living can eventually lead to health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. That's because when even one FIT area is ignored, it can cause a domino effect that negatively impacts the other areas.

To learn more about building a strong, positive connection among the four pieces of the FIT Platform, read How to Use the FIT Platform.


For Kids and Parents. Kid Tested. Expert Approved.

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