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The FIT Connection for Kids

Get fit in all areas of your life, why it’s important, and how you can get on track.
By Brenda Conaway
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD

kids eating lunchSometimes it isn't easy to pay attention to all four parts of the FIT Platform -- MOVE, FOOD, RECHARGE, and MOOD -- all the time. You have school and activities and chores and friends. That means good health habits might not seem so important, but they really are!

How the Parts of FIT Affect Each Other

When you aren't doing well in one part of FIT, it can cause problems in the other parts of your fitness, too. Here's an example of what can happen.

  • Emily is having trouble with math. She and her best friend aren't getting along. And her mom's been working extra hours. This stress makes it hard for her to fall asleep most nights.
  • When Emily is getting less sleep, she doesn't have the energy to go riding bikes with her friends after school. She doesn't feel like playing kickball in the park on the weekend either.
  • Because Emily is worried, she starts eating junk food to make herself feel better. Every day after school, she has a handful of cookies and a soda.
  • Unhealthy food choices, poor sleep, and not enough exercise mean Emily is getting heavier faster than she is getting taller. Emily's dad is overweight, so she is already more likely to have problems with her weight. Within a few months, she has chubby cheeks -- which her mom thinks are cute.
  • The kids at school notice that Emily looks bigger, too, and they tease her. That makes her feel bad about herself. Not sleeping well and not being active also make it harder for Emily to be happy.
  • Because Emily doesn't feel good about herself, she eats more and more junk foods like chips and cookies. And she spends more time watching TV instead of playing outside with her friends.

If Emily and her parents don't do something right away, Emily's fitness will keep getting worse. And the longer it keeps happening, the harder it is to fix.

However, by setting simple goals together with her parents and making just a few small, steady changes, Emily can start feeling better soon. Taking action in any one FIT area will help the other FIT areas, too. And that can help Emily become healthier.

Has anything like this story happened to you?

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