Health and Parenting

Raising Fit Kids: Healthy Nutrition, Exercise and Weight

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    The best way to exercise is to do ...

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    Kids need an hour of physical activity every day, and adults should get about 30 minutes on most days. If breaking your exercise up -- 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there -- is more doable than finding time for a longer workout, that’s OK! Research shows short sessions are just as healthy for you as longer ones. In fact, that’s the more natural way for younger kids to be active.

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    Cooking meals for your family can ...

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    Cooking cantake longer than ordering in or hitting the drive-thru. But it’s worth it. Making meals is one of the easiest ways to eat healthier food. You’ll save money, too --cooking is cheaper than eating out. One study even found that it can make you happier and more relaxed. Worried about time? Remember, the more you cook, the faster you’ll be able to pull together something that’s nutritious and tastes great, too.

  • Question 1/8

    Most Americans spend about __ minutes a day cooking and preparing food.

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    Most Americans spend about __ minutes a day cooking and preparing food.

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    Feel like you’re spending hours in the kitchen? You’re probably there for less time than you think. Most adults spend 37 minutes a day making food and cleaning up afterward. If you still feel crunched for time, use tools like a slow cooker to tackle dinner while you do other things. Also, try planning all your family’s meals for the week in advance. That cuts down on trips to the grocery store and the mental energy of figuring out what to make each night.

  • Question 1/8

    The more time your family spends together, the healthier your kids will be.

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    The more time your family spends together, the healthier your kids will be.

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    When it comes to family time, quality tops quantity. One study of thousands of families found that kids who spent more time with their mothers were no healthier, happier, or better in school than those who spent less. (Other studies suggest the same is true for fathers.)

    What does matter, experts say, is how much you interact with your kids when you’re with them. Make family time count: Turn off screens and get everyone involved in a game, a meal, or a good conversation.

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    The most efficient way to fit in sleep is:

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    Babies, toddlers, and young kids who go to bed at about the same time each night get more sleep and better rest than those who hit the hay at irregular hours. The same is true for you, too: Going to sleep and waking up at roughly the same time (even on the weekends) makes it easier for your body to get into “sleep mode” and stay that way all night. It’s the best way to get the most from the time you spend asleep.

  • Question 1/8

    A few minutes of exercise won’t do much for you.

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    A few minutes of exercise won’t do much for you.

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    When it comes to exercise, doing something is always better than doing nothing. In fact, short, higher-intensity workouts can offer the same benefits as longer, moderate ones.

    If you and your kids only have a few minutes to be active, do it! Get the whole family in on a quick game of soccer, tag, or another fun game that will get your hearts pumping.

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    To up your odds of being active more often...  

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    A little planning can go a long way when it comes to exercise. Use a planner or family calendar to pencil in time to move on most days, even if it’s just doing exercises while you watch TV. Signing the family up for a sport, class, or other planned activity can give you a regular schedule to stick with. And knowing someone’s expecting you can up the odds you’ll show up for your workout. 

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    It takes more time to live a healthy life.

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    It takes more time to live a healthy life.

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    Most people feel like they don’t have time to eat right, exercise, and take other healthy steps. But research shows that “I’m so busy” feeling usually isn’t from a true lack of time. It’s from stress and guilt about other things, like work. A fit lifestyle is all about small choices your family makes all day. So look for easy tweaks you can make, like going for a walk after dinner and swapping french fries for fresh fruit. Little changes can add up to big results without extra stress.

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    Scheduling master! You know some great ways to fit healthy habits into your day

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    Not bad. But see if you can think of other ways to find the time to be healthy every day.

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    Time’s up. See if you can find more chances to make healthy choices in your day.  

Sources | Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on January 19, 2018 Medically Reviewed on January 19, 2018

Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on
January 19, 2018

IMAGE PROVIDED BY:

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SOURCES:

Preventive Medicine: “ Daily movement patterns and biological markers among adults in the United States.” 

CDC: “Youth Physical Activity Guidelines Toolkit,” “Overcoming Barriers to Physical Activity.” 

American College of Sports Medicine: “Physical Activity in Children and Adolescents.”

Monica Auslander Moreno, RD, LD/N, adjunct professor of nutrition, University of Miami; dietitian to the Miami Marlins. 

Tim Church, MD, PhD, professor of preventative medicine, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University.

Public Health Nutrition: “ Is cooking at home associated with better diet quality or weight-loss intention?”

American Journal of Preventive Medicine: “Cooking at Home: A Strategy to Comply With U.S. Dietary Guidelines at No Extra Cost.” 

PLOS One : “Twelve Weeks of Sprint Interval Training Improves Indices of Cardiometabolic Health Similar to Traditional Endurance Training despite a Five-Fold Lower Exercise Volume and Time Commitment.” 

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development: “Key Findings: United States.” 

Journal of Marriage and Family : “Does the Amount of Time Mothers Spend With Children or Adolescents Matter?” 

Sleep: “A Nightly Bedtime Routine: Impact on Sleep in Young Children and Maternal Mood,” “Bedtime Routines for Young Children: A Dose-Dependent Association with Sleep Outcomes.”

National Sleep Foundation: “Healthy Sleep Tips.” 

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: “Make exercise a daily habit—10 tips.” 

American Journal of Health Behavior : “Work Hours and Perceived Time Barriers to Healthful Eating Among Young Adults.” 

Journal of Marketing Research: “Pressed for Time? Goal Conflict Shapes How Time Is Perceived, Spent, and Valued.” 

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center: “Small changes in diet, exercise lead to big results, even if you’re busy.” 

 

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