Time to get Back to School!

The 2021-2022 school year is just around the corner and the back-to-school feeling is nice to have back. As kids everywhere get ready for in-person learning this year, here are ways to make sure the start of the school year is a healthy and safe one.

  1. Get Well-Child appointments. During the pandemic, many people got behind (or forgot about) medical appointments like well-child and other annual preventative check-ups. Make sure your child has their well-child appointment before school starts!
  2. Schedule a sports physical. If your child is playing any sport this fall or spring, it’s a good time to get them a physical before the season gets into full swing.
  3. Make sure immunizations are up to date. Schools require immunizations and they keep your child and their classmates protected from unnecessary, dangerous, and sometimes fatal diseases. If students are 12 or older, they should also get the COVID-19 vaccine. Here is the CDC list of childhood vaccines.
  4. Start a good sleep routine. Kids need enough sleep to develop and do well in school and everything else. Most children need between 9 and 12 hours of sleep each night, so start a routine now and keep it up!
  5. Be physically fit. Kids need at least one hour of exercise every day. Make sure they get enough activity whether it is walking, swimming, playing soccer or basketball, dancing, or something else.
  6. Get school supplies ready. Start the school year with a sturdy backpack. Make sure your student has whatever supplies, like notebooks, folders, pens, and pencils, etc. to start the year successfully.
  7. Talk about bullying. Make sure your child knows about the seriousness of bullying. It can hurt people emotionally and mentally and can harm their learning. If your child is being bullied or sees another student bullied, make sure they know to tell a bully to “Stop!” and to talk to a trusted adult (teacher, counselor, nurse) at school.

Ready to start this school year and get your student in for their back-to-school medical appointments? NOAH pediatricians, counselors, nutritionists, and community resource specialists can help your student and family head into the year with everything you need for success. Make an appointment today!

Have a Summer Safe in the Sun (and heat)!

By Cassandra Altamirano | PA-C, MPAS

Summer is a time to have fun!

Many of us enjoy outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, biking, and running, but summers in Arizona are very hot!  This heat can be dangerous and can cause people to become very sick or even die. Being out in the heat too long can cause dehydration and symptoms of dizziness, headaches, light-headedness, and fainting. If your body reaches too high of a temperature it can even impact organs like your kidneys and brain. Every year, people end up in the hospital due to heat related illness. Have fun, but be sure to have a summer safe from heat illness.

Here are the signs and symptoms of heat related illnesses:

Tips I recommended to have a summer safe in the heat and prevent heat-related illness:

Bring water 

  • Bring water with you everywhere you go. 
  • If you are outside in the heat stay hydrated! Drink at least 1 cup (8 oz) of water every hour even if you do not feel thirsty.

Wear sunscreen 

  • Wear at least 30 SPF sunscreen and remember to reapply every 2-3 hours especially if you are in the water. 
  • People often forget to apply sunscreen on wrists, tops of feet, backs of hands, ears, and nose. Don’t forget these areas!

Wear the right clothes

  • Wear a hat – a wide brimmed hat is best.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
  • Wear lightweight cotton clothing that covers your skin. 

Make safe choices

  • Avoid outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day, 4 AM to 7 AM is generally the coolest time.
  • If you are unable to avoid being out in the heat be sure to take frequent breaks to drink water and find shade to rest.
  • Check in on your elderly neighbors, family and friends, people from out of town or those that may be at high risk.

If you have more questions about heat and hydration safety, talk to one of NOAH’s providers today.

Heat Safety: Staying Safe in Arizona’s Extreme Heat

Summer in Central Arizona is always hot. Always! Even “normal” summer temperatures in Phoenix are dangerous. Then we get a few days or weeks of extreme heat that can be even worse. Know the risks with heat safety, understand the signs of heat illness, and be prepared.

Risks for Extreme Heat

We might be used to high temperatures here in Phoenix, but above 110, 115, or higher are serious. And, when we have more humidity – before or after summer rains usually – it can make the heat much worse. Knowing about heat safety is important year round in Central Arizona.

Everyone can get sick when the temperature and/or humidity go above normal. But some groups are in more danger of getting sick, including people who are:

  • Pregnant
  • Infants or young children
  • Older adults
  • Living with chronic medical conditions or on certain medications

Signs of Heat Illness

There are different levels of heat illness and knowing the symptoms can help a person recover and may even save their life.

  • Heat rash – red cluster of pimples or small blisters around the neck and chest areas typically. Get the person to a cool, shady place and keep the rash dry.
  • Heat cramps – muscle cramps, pain, or spasms in the legs, arms, or stomach. Drink water and eat something but avoid salt.
  • Heat syncope – dizziness, light-headedness, or fainting. The person should sit down and slowly sip water or clear juice.
  • Heat exhaustion – is when your body has a serious loss of water and salt, and the person has a headache, nausea, heavy sweating, dizziness, or weakness. Remove the person from the heat, remove unnecessary clothing, give them liquids, put cool compresses on head and neck, and go to a doctor or hospital.
  • Heat stroke – the most serious illness and can cause death if not treated quickly. The person may have a seizure, be confused, have a very high body temperature, may sweat a lot or have hot dry skin. Call 9-1-1 immediately and begin trying to cool the person down with an ice bath (best action), cool compresses on head and neck, soak clothing with cold water, and use a fan to keep air moving around them.

Prepare for the Heat

It comes every year, so we should all be prepared for the heat. Starting as early as May and going through October, temperatures and humidity can get uncomfortable or dangerous and heat safety is even more important.

First, never ever leave any person or pet in a car. In Arizona, even in cooler weather, cars can get dangerously hot quickly. Never leave anyone or any pet in a car.

Next, limit outdoor activities and exercises if possible. People make the mistake of thinking because they (or their pets) have hiked, run, walked, etc. during hot weather before, that they are somehow immune to the dangers with sometimes devastating results. If you must do activities outside or work outdoors, avoid the hottest part of the day, try to avoid days with extreme temperatures, leave pets at home, seek as much shade as possible, and be sure to take plenty of cold water, a charged phone, and wear appropriate clothing.

Lastly, check on older family, friends, and neighbors. When older people have mobility issues or live alone, the risks can be even worse. Call or better, visit them in person to make sure they are safe.

If keeping the power on is a concern, NOAH’s Community Resource Team may be able to help find utility assistance or other types of help. Also, most power companies in Arizona cannot shut off power from June 1 – October 15 for late payments. So even if you, or someone you know like an elderly neighbor is behind on payments, they will be cool and safe at home during the hottest months.

Throughout Maricopa County there are cooling stations for people who need water or don’t have access to cool, indoor spaces for safety. Find one near you but be prepared so hopefully you never need it.

Men’s Health Month

By Brandon Bolton, RDN |Nutrition Educator

June is Men’s Health Month. That means it’s time to bring awareness to men’s health and the potential health issues all men face. It is a month dedicated to spreading awareness, education, prevention, detection, and treatment of disease among men, but men’s health is important all year.

According to menshealthmonth.org, men, on average, die almost five years earlier than women. One reason for this may be that men are more reluctant to go to the doctor and preventable health problems aren’t detected early. In fact, some studies show that women go to the doctor twice as often as men. It is important to encourage all men to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for injury and disease.   

Taking men’s health seriously starts with a healthy diet. Men have specific nutritional needs, and regardless of age, all men need the nutrition from a healthy diet. Food is more than just fuel for the body, and an unhealthy diet can put you at an increased risk for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

What’s in a Healthy Diet?

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a healthy diet for men includes:

  • 2+ cups of fruits and 2½ cups of vegetables each day for vitamins, minerals, fiber and helpful phytochemicals
  • Whole grains like barley, brown rice, and oatmeal should be at least half of the grains you eat every day. So swap that white bread/pita/tortilla for a whole wheat version.
  • Get enough fiber, at least 38 grams per day for men under 50; 30 grams of fiber per day for men older than 50. Good sources of fiber include berries, popcorn, avocado, apples, nuts, and whole grains listed above.
  • 2 – 3 servings of fish per week.
  • Unsaturated fats such as oils, nuts, and oil-based salad dressings instead of saturated fats like full-fat dairy foods, butter, and high-fat sweets.
  • 3,400 milligrams a day of potassium from fruits, vegetables, fish, and dairy.
  • Eat a variety of protein foods and include seafood and sources like beans, lentils, nuts, and peas.

Since men typically are larger and have more muscle mass than women, they require more calories throughout the day. On average, moderately active males need 2,200-2,800 calories and at least 50 grams of protein per day. Keep in mind, these are just averages. Specific energy needs are determined by your height, weight, age, activity level, and medical history. Consider working with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist to help determine your energy needs and help you develop healthy eating patterns that can last a lifetime.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases Awareness Month

By Larissa D. Wiley, PA-C

April is Sexually Transmitted Disease Awareness Month also known as Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and we all need more awareness about this issue. Awareness of STDs, prevention efforts, and appropriate treatment for STDs are critical for an individual’s health. According to the CDC, there are 20 million new STD diagnoses every year in America, however, most Americans aren’t aware that they are on the rise.

A problem on the rise

Adolescents make up over half of newly diagnosed STDs but represent only 25% of those who are sexually active.  Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common STD at 14 million new cases per year, followed by chlamydia at 2.8 million cases.  All demographic groups are seeing increases in diseases.

In 2018, Maricopa county ranked among the highest for chlamydia and gonorrhea cases. According to Arizona Department of Health Services, gonorrhea has increased 94% in the last five years!

Based on the increase and our 4.4 million residents in Maricopa county, in 2018 there were 27,045 chlamydia cases, 9,085 gonorrhea cases and 801 primary and secondary syphilis cases. That means Maricopa county – just one county – was responsible for 1.5% of all chlamydia and gonorrhea cases and 2.2% of all primary and secondary syphilis cases in the entire country!

What a positive diagnosis means

Many STIs have no symptoms, but they can still be passed to other people, and some STDs have lifelong consequences.  Early diagnosis and treatment are critical! Many STDs can be cured or easily managed by your medical provider.

If these diseases are not addressed:

  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) can result in reproductive cancers.
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is incurable and leads to a constellation of health complications including AIDS.
  • Syphilis can cause blindness, paralysis, heart damage and various neurological complications, as well as serious complications when spread from mother to baby.
  • Untreated gonorrhea and chlamydia infections can result in infertility.

Prevention is key

Thankfully, sexually transmitted diseases are largely preventable. The Gardasil9 vaccine prevents nine different high-risk forms of HPV. The HPV vaccine also reduced genital warts and cervical cancer rates by over 71% from 2006 to 2016. There is also a Hepatitis B vaccine which is available for all age groups and is over 98% effective.

Medications like the Pre-Exposure (PrEP) and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) reduce HIV infections; PrEP is started prior to HIV exposure and PEP is for HIV-negative patients who were exposed to someone with HIV. More information about this is available from the CDC here.

Sexually transmitted disease awareness is important to your health, and safety measures can reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases. Use a latex or polyurethane condom, limit your number of sexual partners, avoid sexual behaviors that could compromise condom effectiveness, and test for STDs before becoming sexually active with a new partner.

If you do contract a sexually transmitted disease, seek treatment early rather than waiting; this could reduce permanent damage and spread.  Please talk to your primary care provider about any questions you may have.  At NOAH, we are here to help and answer question about all aspects of your health, including your sexual and reproductive health. Talk to a NOAH provider today!

Myth or Fact – Understanding the COVID Vaccine

Everything about COVID-19 came at us quickly in 2020. From how the virus spreads to vaccine options, we have learned so much about. But it’s also no surprise that there are questions and misunderstandings. That’s why NOAH experts are responding to some of the most common COVID vaccine myths.

Myth #1 – It’s too soon to know if the vaccine is safe and effective.

Fact – Approved vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson – did not skip any necessary step. The two initial vaccines approved in the U.S., Pfizer and Moderna, were about 95% effective in trials. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is 66.3% effective in preventing all COVID-19. All available vaccines are highly effective at preventing infection, as well as preventing hospitalization and death from the virus.

The vaccines are safe. Other than expected side effects like headaches, chills, and arm pain, severe allergic reactions are extremely rare. All patients are monitored for 15 minutes after receiving their vaccine to monitor for any signs of these rare reactions so they can receive immediate treatment if needed.

Myth #2 – If I had COVID, I don’t need the vaccine.

Fact – People can – and have – gotten COVID-19 more than once. Plus, this virus can have serious and lasting health risks. We also don’t yet know how long natural immunity (from having COVID-19) will last. Early evidence shows that natural immunity may not last long enough to stop the spread. The evidence scientists are seeing from the vaccine tell us that the vaccine may offer better protection than natural immunity.

Myth #3 – I don’t need to wear a mask after getting the COVID vaccine.

Fact – Fully vaccinated people can still carry and spread the virus to unvaccinated people. By wearing masks and continuing to give physical distance from people that don’t live in your home, you are protecting them from infection, and from you getting the virus and carrying it to other unvaccinated people.

At this time (4/5/2021), none of the vaccines are approved for children under 16. Those trials are underway but are not fully approved yet. Wearing your mask will continue to protect children and other unvaccinated individuals.

Myth #4 – The vaccine causes infertility in women.

Fact – None of the available COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility. This myth happened because a false social media report (*read more on this at the end) was shared saying that the spike protein on the coronavirus was the same as another spike protein that is involved in placenta growth and attachment during pregnancy.

The spike protein in the coronavirus is what allows it to enter the cell and replicate. The vaccine targets this spike protein.

The false report said the COVID vaccine would target the protein in a woman’s body that helps with healthy placenta growth and harm her fertility. The COVID vaccine ONLY targets the specific spike protein of the coronavirus because it is completely different. The vaccine won’t interact with a woman’s fertility or fertility treatments. More information from Johns Hopkins Medicine on this topic is available here.

Myth #5 – The COVID vaccine gives you COVID.

Fact – The COVID vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna use mRNA technology and do not use any form of any virus. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine uses what is called a viral vector to carry the information to our body. This vector is a harmless version of a different virus. None of the vaccines can give someone the virus because none of the vaccines contain any part of the virus. What all of the vaccines will do, though, is tell our healthy cells how to respond to COVID-19.

Any side effects from getting the vaccine, like arm pain where you received the shot, a fever, body aches, chills, or a headache are actually a good thing! We know they aren’t fun, but they are temporary and show that your body is responding to the vaccine and building protection. Many people don’t experience any side effects.

Myth #6 – The mRNA technology is new and changes your DNA.

Fact — The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use mRNA technology to give instructions to our bodies on how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19. The mRNA does enter the cell, but does NOT enter the part of the cell that contains our DNA, so it cannot change our DNA.

This mRNA technology is not new to science or medicine; it has been used and studied for almost 20 years. The COVID-19 vaccine is the first time, though, mRNA is being used in a vaccine. Scientists were able to create the vaccines happened faster than if scientists were using a new technology because of past experience and studies.

NOAH’s own Dr. Bell shares a helpful and easy-to-understand information about COVID-19 and the vaccine in this brief YouTube video.

So much has happened around COVID-19 in just one year. Ensuring our patients and community understand how to stay safe and healthy is important. Your NOAH provider can answer any questions you have about COVID, the vaccine, or any other health and wellness concerns. Check out the NOAH COVID-19 page on our website for additional information.

*Social media allows us to stay connected and to share helpful, fun, and important information with people in our lives. However, the prevalence of misinformation shared across social media platforms can cause real and harmful outcomes. At NOAH, we only share our NOAH provider’s (doctors, physician assistants, nutritionists, counselors, nurse practitioners, psychiatrists, dentists, etc.) expert insight and knowledge, or trusted third-party sources of information. We will never share questionable information, rumors, or unverified medical insights in our blogs or on our social media platforms.  

Is Nutrition Really that Important to my Health?

Yes. Yes, it is!

Nutrition is the foundation on which overall health and wellness is built. People fight diseases, prevent health problems, feel better overall, and live healthier lives with good nutrition. This is why NOAH is committed to the key role our Nutrition Services team plays in our integrated care.

Why nutrition matters

When your body gets the minerals and vitamins it needs, everything works better, especially when those nutrients come from what you eat and drink.

Many people think the main benefit of eating healthier is losing weight. And that can be a wonderful benefit because losing weight can impact someone’s overall health. However, the real benefits are:

  • Reduced high blood pressure
  • Reduced high cholesterol
  • Improved energy level
  • Improved ability to recover from injury or illnesses
  • Better able to fight off illnesses
  • Reduced risk of diseases like heart disease, stroke, certain cancers, diabetes, and more.

During this National Nutrition Month, NOAH’s Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) have shared their expert insights about:

Why? Because they see every day how improving nutrition can improve someone’s life.

How nutrition fits into healthcare

At NOAH, we provide comprehensive, integrated care which means all of our departments and providers work together. And nutrition can greatly impact so many patients at any stage of life.

Some examples:

  • Medical providers might be concerned about a patient’s blood pressure. Nutrition will be one of the ways to make improvements. But many people think they have to change their diet and lifestyle overnight to reach their goals. That isn’t the case. A NOAH RDN will learn about the patient, meet with them, and create a plan together. Maybe nutrition alone can help, or maybe it’s a combination of diet and medication. Regardless, it’s always an important step to take.
  • If a patient has reactions when they eat certain foods like dairy or the gluten often found in many breads, pastas, and cereals, an RDN can help. A patient may be lactose intolerant, or it can depend on how much dairy they have. Similarly, maybe a patient has tested positive for gluten intolerance or celiac disease. These individuals will benefit by adding a RDN to their medical team. There are many delicious options available, and ways to prepare food with different ingredients so patients enjoy what they love and are doing what is best for their health.

Do you have questions for our RDNs? Talk to your healthcare provider at your next appointment and get to know how our Nutrition Services team can help you.

Alcohol Facts

Drug & Alcohol Facts Week

By Brandon Bolton, RDN |Nutrition Educator

This week is Drug and Alcohol Facts Week; a time to share facts and awareness about drugs and alcohol with our communities. This article will take a closer look at the truth about alcohol.

According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 86% of people 18 and older said they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime, 69.5% reported that they drank in the past year, and 55% reported that they drank in the past month.

What is binge drinking?

What is more serious, is that this survey also showed that 26% of people 18 and older reported that they engaged in binge drinking in the past month. Binge drinking is a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol level to 0.08%, also usually looks like 5+ drinks for men, 4+ drinks for women at one setting (night out, at a party, etc.) in about a 2-hour timeframe.

What is heavy drinking?

Heavy drinking is considered 15+ drinks for men, 8+ drinks for women each week. The difference between binge drinking and heavy drinking is that binge drinking is a large amount in a very short time. Heavy drinking is a higher than healthy amount on a regular basis.

Bottom line

Drinking too much alcohol can lead to poor overall health. People who drink too much alcohol are also be more likely to eat poorly. Alcohol can also affect digestion and how your body absorbs nutrients. Too much alcohol can lead to deficiencies in important vitamins like B-complex and many more.

My advice

Talk to your doctor or medical provider to see if it is safe for you to drink alcohol. If you do choose to have alcohol, drink in moderation. Drinking less is better for overall health than heavy drinking or binge drinking. The CDC describes safe, moderate alcohol consumption for most adults as 2 drinks or less for men, and 1 drink or less for women per day.

But make sure you understand what is considered 1 drink.

  • 12 ounces of beer (5% alcohol content)
  • 8 ounces of malt liquor (7% alcohol content)
  • 5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol content)
  • 1.5 ounces or a “shot” of 80-proof (40% alcohol content) distilled spirits or liquor (e.g., gin, rum, vodka, whiskey)

Following these guidelines will support good nutrition, and that plays an important role in your health. Following nutrition guidelines and eating a balanced diet can help ensure our bodies are getting all the nutrients to keep us feeling healthy both physically and emotionally.

Good nutrition means:

  • Eat a wide variety of foods.
  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
  • Half of your grains coming from whole grains like 100% whole wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice, and quinoa.
  • Vary your protein and eat protein rich foods like:
    • Lean meats: 95% lean ground beef, pork tenderloin, skinless chicken or turkey (limit red meats to one time per week)
    • Fish such as salmon and tuna at least once per week
    • Eggs
    • Nuts, seeds, tofu, tempeh, edamame
    • Legumes such as beans, lentils, and chickpeas
  • Switch to low fat or fat-free dairy milk or yogurt.
  • Limit sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Aim for 30 minutes of moderate physical activity 5 days per week.

Living a healthy life means considering the many ways we can improve and maintain our health. Alcohol can be safely consumed for most adults, but moderation is important. Reducing or eliminating alcohol from your diet is a great way to improve your overall health. To learn more, call NOAH at 480-882-4545, or fill out this form to meet with one of our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.

Understanding Colorectal Cancer

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Around 150,000 Americans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2021. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the US for men and women combined. The more we understand this disease, the better chance of catching it early and beating it.

What is colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer is cancer in the colon, rectum, or both. It can be diagnosed as bowel cancer, rectal cancer, or colon cancer. A majority of this type of cancer first develops as abnormal growths inside the colon or rectum. These growths can become cancerous later if they aren’t removed.

Who gets it?

The American Cancer Society estimate that about 1 in 21 men and 1 in 23 women in the United States will develop colorectal cancer during their lifetime. People who get a form of this cancer are typically – but definitely not always – diagnosed between the ages of 63 and 72.

Black Americans are at a 20 percent greater risk of developing colon, bowel, or rectal cancer. The devastating reality is that Black Americans are 40 percent more likely to die from it as well.

What causes colorectal cancer?

There are many causes or risk factors. Some may be connected to other health conditions and diseases resulting from long-term health disparities in different communities. Some risk factors include:

  • Low-fiber, high-fat diet
  • Diabetes
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Intestinal conditions like colitis and Crohn’s disease
  • Family history of colon cancer
  • Obesity
  • Smoking or heavy alcohol use

How to recognize signs and symptoms?

There are several consistent signs that something may be wrong with a person’s bowel, colon, or rectum.

  • Regular or constant stomach discomfort including pain, gas, bloating, or cramps
  • Occasional or regular changes in bowel habits like constipation or diarrhea
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Blood in stool

When to see a doctor?

Earlier is ALWAYS better. The sooner a problem is identified the better the outcome, and that’s the same whether it is abnormal growths in the colon, or if it has become cancer. These symptoms may indicate colorectal cancer, or it can indicate a number of other health conditions that need medical attention.

However, these cancers can develop with no symptoms at all. This is why screenings and regular check-ups with your medical provider are so important. If you have any concerns, talk to your healthcare provider.

If you need an appointment, call 480-882-4545 or request an appointment online.

Physical Activity for Every Age

By Daniel Smoots, MD Family Medicine 

Physical activity and exercise can seem like one more item to add to the to-do list, but there are good reasons why striving to get daily movement and exercise on to your family’s schedule is so important. There are many benefits to look forward to, from better physical and mental health, to quality family bonding time. Developing good exercise habits with your children provides an opportunity for encouragement and positive feedback which builds self-esteem and confidence, and helps motivate and maintain good habits as they grow. 

Why should we exercise?

  • Exercise is shown to improve physical health: controls weight, strengthens bones and muscles, gives you more energy, and leads to more restful sleep 
  • Activity and exercise are good for mental health: reduces anxiety, depression, and leads to higher self-esteem, and improved mood

How much exercise should a child get (CDC recommendations)? 

  • Children of different ages need different amounts of exercise, according to the CDC
  • 60 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each day (ex: fast walking, playing)
  • Vigorous-intensity activities 3 times a week (ex: running, playing fast-moving sport)
  • Muscle and bone strengthening activities 3 times a week (ex: climbing, push-ups, jumping)
  • Toddlers should engage in active play throughout the day 

How much exercise should an adult get?

  • 150 minutes (or 30 minutes 5 days a week) moderate-intensity aerobics each week 
  • Muscle and bone strengthening 2 times a week (resistance or weight training)

What are good ways to exercise together as a family?

  • Take a family walk, go to the park, hike, bike ride or rollerblade, play a game (ex: tag, hide and seek), try yoga, go swimming
  • Play sports. Soccer, basketball, tennis, racquetball can be played at varying levels depending on your family’s ages and skill levels

How to make exercise more engaging for children?

  • Make an activity chart to pick from or check off, spin a wheel to choose the activity, have them create and lead a new game, or build an obstacle course (add some competition for timing for who gets through the fastest)
  • Have them count the steps. Take the stairs, park further away in parking lots 
  • Have a dance party (helps get the “wiggles” out, and also a good aerobic activity when done for at least 10 minutes to upbeat music)

Make it a time that the family looks forward to by keeping it simple and fun, trying new things, and learning new skills. Find a way to get moving together as a family and feel and see the benefits!