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Small Steps to a Healthy Family Lifestyle

Childhood Obesity Basics


Updated February 05, 2005

We are bombarded every day with conflicting information about our health. Is it better to eat a low-carb diet or a balanced diet? Should we be physically active three times a week or five times a week? And how can we be expected to follow any of these recommendations when we're always so busy?

It's no wonder that many of us throw up our hands and give up. But if we want to live long and fulfilling lives, it's essential that we learn the real facts about health, nutrition, and physical activity.

Luckily, the real facts are pretty straightforward. All you really need to know about a healthy lifestyle is:

  • Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grain products -- and be sure to control portion sizes.
  • Get physically active at least five times a week, for thirty minutes or more.
  • Avoid tobacco and illegal drugs altogether. Sounds simple, right? Well, if it were that easy, we'd all be effortlessly fit and healthy.
Today's lifestyle doesn't allow much room for health. And that's where Small Steps comes in. We know that it's impossible for many people to make dramatic lifestyle changes. Instead, we want to help you learn ways that you can change small things about your life and see big results.

Check out these 100 Small Steps to see what you can do to change your family's life.

1. Walk to work.

2. Use fat free milk over whole milk. (As long as your child is at least 2 years old)

3. Do sit-ups in front of the TV.

4. Walk during lunch hour.

5. Drink water before a meal.

6. Eat leaner red meat & poultry.

7. Eat half your dessert.

8. Walk instead of driving whenever you can.

9. Take family walk after dinner.

10. Skate to work instead of driving.

11. Avoid food portions larger than your fist.

12. Mow lawn with push mower. (Remember that the AAP says that children younger than 12 years should not use walk-behind mowers.)

13. Increase the fiber in your diet.

14. Walk to your place of worship instead of driving.

15. Walk kids to school.

16. Get a dog and walk it.

17. Join an exercise group.

18. Drink diet soda. (If your kids must drink soda and are aleady drinking enough milk.)

19. Replace Sunday drive with Sunday walk.

20. Do yard work.

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