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    Raising Fit Kids: Healthy Nurtition, Exercise, and Weight

    The Domino Effect of a Weak FIT Area continued...

    The impact of unhealthy choices starts to show. Poor sleep, unhealthy food choices, and lack of physical activity all lead to weight gain. In fact, Sarah's dad is overweight -- so she is already at an increased risk for having a lifetime weight problem. Within four months, she's gained 10 pounds, and it shows in a little pot belly that her mom thinks is cute. But the kids at school are less charmed by Sarah's excess weight, so she starts getting teased, and she feels bad about herself because of it. Ongoing lack of sleep and lack of exercise also work to bring down her MOOD and overall outlook.

    The unhealthy choices continue, and the effects multiply. Because she doesn't feel good about herself, she turns more and more often to unhealthy comfort foods and to time in front of the TV instead of being physically active with friends.

    Do you identify with any piece of this story? A child has stress. Her response is a bad mood and choices that don't do anything to effectively ease her stress in a healthy way. Without her stress getting addressed, combined with ineffective and unhealthy choices, her stress builds.

    If steps aren't taken right away, this downward spiral with Sarah's fitness will continue. The longer it goes on, the harder it is to undo -- for the child and the parent.

    However, by setting realistic goals and making just a few small, consistent changes, a family can turn it around. And because the FOOD, MOVE, MOOD, and RECHARGE areas of life all influence each other, taking action in any one area will have a positive effect on each of the other FIT areas. And that can help turn the tide toward a healthier way of living.

    The Positive Effect of a Strong FIT Area

    There are many ways a family could respond to the above situation to get on a healthier course. For instance, Sarah and her parents could start getting her fitness back in check starting in any of the FIT areas. Here's how:


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