Wednesday, January 23, 2013



New Year’s Resolutions usually include something about exercise.   As parents, you know that exercise is essential for maintaining a healthy weight.  It is essential for helping kids get to a healthier weight.  The fact is that you can lose weight by just eating less calories but to keep off the weight you have to move more.

The tip for parents from Growing Healthy Kids  is this:  take responsibility for your kids’ fitness by taking family walks together several days a week.  

Exercise as simple as taking regular walks can assist your kids (and you) to get to (and stay at) a healthy weight.  What kind of exercise is best?

A recent Danish study of 10,000 adults revealed that taking a short, fast walk was more beneficial than a long, slow walk in improving the risk factors for metabolic syndrome.  According to a January 2013 article in USA Weekend, “Researchers found fast walking and jogging every day can cut the risk of heart disease and stroke by up to 50%, but walking an hour a day makes little difference.  Another study found that people who lift weights are less prone to metabolic syndrome.”  The metabolic syndrome is present when you have three or more of these five signs:
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Elevated blood sugars
  • Large waist circumference
  • Low HDL cholesterol
  • Elevated triglycerides

For a quick lesson on metabolic syndrome BY THE NUMBERS, read the section below:
Metabolic syndrome is present if you have three or more of 
the following signs:
·         Blood pressure equal to or higher than 130/85 mmHg
·         Fasting blood sugar (glucose) equal to or higher than 100 mg/dL
·         Large waist circumference (length around the waist):
o    Men - 40 inches or more
o    Women - 35 inches or more
·         Low HDL cholesterol:
o    Men - under 40 mg/dL
o    Women - under 50 mg/dL
·         Triglycerides equal to or higher than 150 mg/dL
For more information about the metabolic syndrome, click here:

Walking can lower your blood pressure, lower your blood sugars, improve your waist circumference, help you to lose weight, help keep off weight, and raise your good cholesterol (HDL).  

Ready to walk your way to wellness?  As parents, we can choose to be positive role models for our children - OR NOT.  Let’s get moving, America, because we can walk our way to wellness!  I commit to MOVE MORE in 2013.  

Now, the question is, will you?

In gratitude,
Nancy L. Heinrich, MPH
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids