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Offered by Dawn Dycus, M.D. – Brighton Pediatrics

Despite the benefits of regular physical activity, many families have excuses for why they aren’t more active. Benefits of physical activity include spending time with friends and family, maintaining a healthy weight, improving body image, increasing energy levels, decreasing stress, and just plain having fun! Some excuses or barriers to getting enough activity include things like: “I don’t have enough time,” “I’m not good at any sports,” “I’m too overweight,” or “My neighborhood just isn’t safe enough.”

For each obstacle, there are several solutions that could work. One suggestion is to build activity into your day (such as taking the stairs, walking the floor of the mall once before shopping, or parking the car far from an entrance to walk more). If sports is an issue, try other enjoyable activities such as dancing, hiking, riding a bike, or swimming. Sometimes having an “exercise buddy” to be active with 2-3 times a week will increase how much fun you have and keep you on track. Starting slow with 10-15 minutes of activity per day and then regularly increasing activity time is good for those who feel they are too overweight or lack the endurance to be active. If outdoor activities don’t feel safe enough in your neighborhood, then indoor activities such as dancing or workout DVDs are an option. Most communities will have a YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, or local recreation center available; signing up can be an incentive to use the facility for physical activity. Finally, consider writing down a personal activity plan as a guide for keeping on track.

For more information, visit our website at: www.brightonpeds.com

Pushing Past Obstacles

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