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Get the Family Moving

By Liberty Hospital

If you’re the family that finds yourselves sitting at home in the same room with each family member on his or her own electronic device, then it is time to make a change — for the sake of your family’s health.

“Most people know the basics to living a healthier life, it is just a matter of practicing it and being consistent,” said Adam Long, Strength and Conditioning Coach at Liberty Hospital Sports Medicine. “Find what works best to help your family enjoy cardiovascular exercise. Riding bicycles, walking, swimming — whatever you choose, make it a family activity.”

Long suggested that families create SMART short-term goals together: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Specific. Start simple and celebrate successes.  Remember that children need 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every day to grow up to a healthy weight, and adults need at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, according to Let’s Move, First Lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to fight childhood obesity.

Don’t forget to warm up, though. “A proper warm-up is often overlooked,” he said. “But it’s crucial to the start of any fitness program. It’s a great way to awaken the central nervous system, warm up your core temperature and get your body ready to move.”

Long said strength training is a staple. “It decreases body fat while increasing lean body mass and bone density,” he said. “It keeps your body strong and functional for day-to-day living.”

Don’t have free weights or belong to a gym? Try doing push ups, pull ups, squats and lunges to get started. Do those three times a week with at least one day of rest in between sessions.

Nutrition plays a critical role, too. “Choose a diet rich in vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and 100 percent whole grains that will help round out your healthy lifestyle,” Long said. “Learn to read food labels and understand what really is in the food you’re feeding your family.”

Consistency is the key, he added. “Do not eat to the point of feeling full,” he said. “Instead, eat until you are satisfied. Reward yourself and your family when you see fit, but do not let one reward become a full day or week of bad eating.”

It’s a combination of more calories consumed and less activity over the past several decades that has lead to one in three American children being overweight or obese, according to

“There is no end in sight for staying healthy,” Long said. “Commit to adopting a healthy lifestyle. It has to become a way of life.”

For more information about strength and conditioning training available for children and adults, contact Adam Long at 816-407-2315.


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