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Monday, January 14, 2013

Teen Health: Eating & Excercise

It turns out that eating breakfast and exercising are especially good habits to instill in your teens, as seen here in part two of our month-long series on teen health from Kim Seidel, writer-editor for Seidel Ink, LLC, and mother of a teen and a tween. You can find part one about sharing family meals and making healthy choices right here.

Eat breakfast
Encourage your children to eat breakfast as a healthy way to start their day.

During research for her book, “Thin People Don’t Clean Their Plates,” Jill Fleming, author, speaker and registered dietician, spent more than 10,000 hours reviewing the lifestyle habits of those who are thin and healthy.

“They all shared almost identical habits with people who are successful at losing weight and keeping it off, as reported by the National Weight Control Registry,” Fleming says.

Their common traits include eating breakfast almost every day.

“Eating breakfast ‘breaks the fast’ from the night before to wake up the digestive system,” says Fleming, mother of three children. “This speeds up the metabolism. It is best to eat something within the first hour of waking up.”

Exercise together
Exercising regularly is another shared characteristic of thin people, Fleming says. “To increase the activity level of the overweight child or teenager, you must incorporate lifestyle activities into their day,” says Fleming.

Fleming offers a few examples: Let the teenager walk or ride a bike for transportation, especially to and from school. Limit car rides to extreme temperatures or long distances. Take a walk or bike ride together every night after dinner.

“Start out with a goal of 30 minutes," Fleming continues. "You get the added benefit of having a chance to talk to one another. Think of it as quality time for your family to connect.”
Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images


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