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20 Healthy Eating & Exercise Tips for Kids



Children are at the heart of a new "Diabetes is a Family Affair" Campaign that the New York State Podiatric Medical Association (NYSPMA) is launching. Getting critical messages through to children is the focus of the year-long campaign.

"With a recently released government report stating that one in three children born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes, it's more important than ever for families to learn about diabetes," says Bruce Waxman, DPM, president of NYSPMA board of trustees. "By teaching families as a unit about diabetes now, we hope to lower the risk of diabetes in the future and its complications, especially amputations. NYSPMA is dedicated to educating the public about this disease and encouraging them to talk to their families about it at home," Dr. Waxman adds.

Following are smart exercise tips for kids:

1. Choose the appropriate footwear for the sport activity. Replace shoes when they're worn out and avoid hand-me-downs.

2. Have your feet measured every time you buy new shoes, and do it while you're standing.

3. Wear socks made of an acrylic blend fiber or wool, not cotton, to help prevent blisters.

4. When starting a new activity, be sure to get instruction on proper form and technique. Don't try to do too much too fast.

5. Stretch before you start exercising. Concentrate on the calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps.

6. If something hurts, stop the activity. Remember foot pain is not normal.

7. Minor foot pain (either a sprain or strain) can often be treated with rest, ice, compression and elevation.

8. If foot pain continues for more than two or three days, or if an injury results in swelling or causes you to walk differently, see a podiatrist.

9. Drink water and replenishing drinks, to prevent legs from cramping and other heat-related injuries.

10. Always stretch after your activity.

Ten more great tips for healthy eating and exercise

1. Make exercising a priority. But check with your physician before beginning any new exercise program.

2. Once physical activity is approved, have a podiatrist evaluate your feet. Get recommendations for proper stretching techniques and help choosing shoes that are appropriate for your selected exercise.

3. Exercise with a friend or family member. For example, explore your local zoo or walking trail. You can plan family time around an activity, plus the buddy system improves your success rate!

4. If you have diabetes, check inside your shoes for sources of irritation and wear diabetic socks that will wick moisture away from the skin.

5. It's important to drink plenty of water when exercising and if you have diabetes, it's a good idea to carry an energizing carbohydrate source with you in case blood sugar is low.

6. Encourage your family to eat healthy. Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat (but be wary of high sugar intake from some types of fruit).

7. Buy healthy snacks. Substitute baked chips and salsa instead of chips and dip or sugar-free yogurt over ice cream.

8. If you have diabetes, design an eating program to balance your nutritional needs with your medications and physical activity.

9. There are lots of books and magazines for people with diabetes. Buy one that offers new healthy eating tips and recipes or join a club for people who have diabetes.

10. Remember, diabetes is a family affair. If you and your loved ones learn healthy eating and exercise habits now, you could prevent health problems in the future.

For more information about diabetes and the feet or to find a podiatrist near you, visit http://www.nyspma.org or call 1-866-996-4400.