For the last 15 years, I’ve worked with school-age children from elementary school through high school as a special education assistant, track and cross country coach and exercise physiologist in the Pediatric Fitness Clinic. During this time, exercise has been my “go to” tool for handling behavioral, performance and medical concerns. It’s obvious that the need for exercise is universal (emotional, physical, and psychological health). However, approaching your child with the type of activity they are drawn to varies based on their personality. It seems as if certain “Fitness Personalities” occur time and time again. Knowing your child’s personality may help you find the right activity for your child that feels natural, is rewarding and fun.
Have you tried the Atkins Diet? Maybe you’ve eaten grapefruit for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then there’s the cabbage diet that, frankly, just sounds like a form of punishment.
As adults, we sometimes try crazy things to lose weight. And the “Diet Industry” knows that — there’s a reason it’s a billion dollar industry. We’re all looking for that quick fix. The problem is, often times our kids are too.
Maybe your teen skips breakfast (Myth #1) or drinks diet soda because she thinks it will help her lose weight. Maybe your son thinks exercise will work off that entire pizza he just consumed (Myth #19).
We all have misconceptions about what will help us lose weight, and even about what is really healthy (hint: just because something is labeled healthy, doesn’t mean it actually is. Myth #2.)
Judith Hilgers, RN, BSN, with UW Health’s Pediatric Fitness Clinic shares common myths about food, exercise and healthy habits and offers suggestions for what your kids (and let’s be honest, maybe even you) can do to make positive changes.