Bad Habit Blues
Has the cooler weather landed your family on the couch and in a rut? School schedules competing with active play time?
It’s easy to find yourself skipping the gym and pulling through the drive-thru in a hurried or exhausted state of mind. Those everyday individual choices add up quickly and impact lifestyle decisions for the whole family so it’s important to make sure you work together with your kids to stay energized and healthy!
Learning to make family-centered healthy lifestyle changes and choices can be very challenging. That’s what WakeMed ENERGIZE! is all about. Children who learn to eat right and exercise regularly are less likely to develop chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
Be a Family Team
“Parents are frequently unsure what to do when they realize their child’s weight is unhealthy,” said Julie Paul, WakeMed dietitian. Enrolling kids in a team sports activity may not be the answer. Many children don’t enjoy team sports. Instead, children may need to learn about healthy life choices and explore what activities are most interesting to them. Most of all, kids need to know that they have a family team who will set goals together, make healthy choices and go the distance with them.
“Learning together can lead to greater success,” said Paul. “If everyone’s on board, there is a much higher chance of making good changes.”
If you or your family’s physician is concerned about the health of your child, it may be time to look at the whole picture together as a family.
WakeMed’s ENERGIZE! team evaluates current health behaviors and provides ongoing education and support. Based on family needs and motivation levels, interested families are enrolled in one of the following options:
- A 12-week exercise and educational program* that meets three times a week. Group education and fitness programs are provided at community-based locations, including local YMCAs.
- Individual medical therapy and healthy lifestyle education sessions with customized meal and fitness plans. Participants meet regularly with the ENERGIZE! team for ongoing support and goal setting.
*Participants in the 12-week program have a follow-up with the ENERGIZE! team every six months for two years to help ensure healthy ongoing progress.
Program enrollment is available for families with children ages 6 to 18 with a referral from their family physician or pediatrician. Referral forms and more information are available at www.wakemed.org or by calling 919-350-5955.