This blog was written by Dan Walker. Meet our blogging fitness specialists at the NIFS website.
If you thought your child’s grades and college choice were the most important things to worry about in their adolescence, think again. Unhealthy habits picked up during the preteen and teen years can lead to health problems later in life, a recent study found. The most notable problem among these is high cholesterol levels, or dyslipidemia.
Smoking, poor cardiovascular fitness, and carrying around extra body fat were all significantly correlated with dyslipidemia later in early adulthood. If you think your child might be heading in this direction, here are three keys to help turn them around:
- Get active together as a family. Go for bike rides, play in the yard, and move in other fun ways to show them how much fun exercise can really be when you find something you like. Now is the time to ingrain the habit of regular physical activity in their life.
- Practice what you preach. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, so if you are carrying around a few extra pounds yourself or you smoke, how likely is it that your children won’t?
- Encourage a healthy, nutritious diet whenever you can. You can’t control your child’s eating when they’re not at home, but odds are you can when they are (unless they want to fork over the extra money to buy their own groceries!). Get them used to eating healthy foods lower in fat and cholesterol while they are young so they will hopefully stick with them as they age.
Although it may seem your children can eat anything and everything under the sun without gaining any weight, they may in fact just be setting themselves up for disaster later in life. Help them establish healthy habits now while not picking up unhealthy ones.
You want to help and guide your kids in their schooling and set them up for a secure future. But what are you doing to help guide them away from having to take medications such as Lipitor? See your corporate wellness program for more help.