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Carolyn on Family Health & Wellness

Today, I have a guest writer that is joining me to share in something that is very important for parents to be educated about, Diabetes.

Carolyn is a 20-something year old with a passion for a life, fitness and overall well-being.  She is an avid cycler, golfer and has been known to bust some serious moves on the dance floor.  You can learn more about Carolyn and her motivations and her story, here.

Here's Carolyn's document:

Put Your Heart into Raising Healthy Children

Although November is National Diabetes Month, families such as mine, with members who suffer from Type 2 Diabetes, have reason to actively raise awareness all year long. One of my younger cousins was
recently diagnosed with Type 2 just a few short months ago, and it has completely changed our family’s outlook on the disease and our habits.

Information from Syracuse’s St. Joseph’s Cardiac Hospital reports a clear connection between diabetes and heart disease. Since February is National Heart Month, now is a great time to start working together
in your own family to prevent these awful diseases, and to promote healthy living and habits. If you are concerned about your family’s well-being, consider some of these tips to get you started on the track of prevention:

Get Moving!

The first step towards diabetes and hear disease prevention is simply to get kids moving! If the winter weather has you feeling cooped up, get creative with indoor activities:

- Go to your local library and checkout family-friendly exercise DVDs to try with one another – my cousins especially like Yoga and Pilates

- Turn on some music and stage your own dance off! If you own a gaming console, borrow or purchase some active games such as Zumba Fitness or Just Dance.

- Create a “timed-race” to see who can get their chores done the fastest (and completed well) – activities such as dusting, mopping, vacuuming, etc. can really get you moving!

- To make a habit of exercising together, start your own family fitness club and train together.

- Have a fun, friendly competition after a month of practice to see who can jump rope the most times, do the most pushups and sit ups, and so on.

Eating Well

As your family gets more active, make sure to feed their bodies with good fuel:

- Begin by replacing foods high in trans fats and processed sugars with more natural ones.

- Breakfast should include fresh fruit and whole grains.

- Snacks of nuts, dried or fresh fruit, or fresh vegetables are particularly good replacements for unhealthy snacks such as candy or chips. If kids are hesitant to embrace these changes, make it more fun by letting them help make their own snacks.

- For a fun snack, let kids stack fresh berries, pieces of apple, and a few cubes of cheese on bamboo skewers. Place on a plate to enjoy along with a meal or eat the creations alone.

- At dinnertime, replace processed meats with lean cuts of white meat or kid-friendly vegetarian options.

A few healthy changes in your family’s habits will make a big difference for your children. It doesn’t take long to establish healthy habits, and the results will benefit you and your kids for a lifetime.


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