60 minutes a day makes you one SMArt kid!

| Posted On Mar 12, 2012 | By:

Dr. Brittanny Boulanger

The SMArt kids are proving that they are committed to their monthly individual goals and our group’s overall goals.  To recap, here are our core SMArt Kids goals:

Despite the long winter days, February school vacation and less outdoor play, each participant in this month’s shared medical appointment (SMA) has either lost weight or maintained their weight since they joined the SMArt Kids group. This is great news! Keep up the SMArt work!

This month we focused on the importance of sixty minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day. Rachel Handren, one of the physical therapists at Burlington, started the session with fun and sweat! She led our SMArt kids in some simple, reproducible and effective exercises. She reviewed stretching, core strengthening and the use of resistance bands. Many of the SMArt kids plan to utilize these new techniques at home over the next month. Try a wall sit during TV commercials, sit-ups before breakfast or use your front steps (simple step ups) for some of your sixty minutes per day of active play.  You don’t need a lot of equipment to stay active.

During our discussion, we learned that SMArt Kids need at least one hour of active play per day. When you think about a full day, that is only 60 minutes out of 1440 minutes!  Sounds easy, right? And remember: the 60 minutes can be divided into smaller chunks of time. Try 10 minutes of active play in the yard while waiting for dinner, consider a 10-minute walk after each meal, or ride your bike for 10 minutes after your homework is done. Being active helps you sleep better, feel better, be stronger and healthier, and even think better!

Our group thought of some great ways to be active:

            Shovel all of the recent snow!
            Play run the bases
            Play ‘What time is it, Mr. Wolf?’
            Have a dance party
            Walk to the park
            Walk the dog
            Sprint on the treadmill or in the yard
            Go to the playground

With all of this physical activity, stay hydrated.  But remember: water is the best choice.  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) promotes water as the main source of hydration for children in adolescents.  It discourages the use of sports drinks (Gatorade, Propel etc…) given the risk of excessive calorie consumption and dental erosion. In addition, the AAP’s policy strongly states that children or teens should never consume energy drinks due to their stimulant content.  Bottom line? Drink water when exercising.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone back in March.  We will be playing detective…investigating the best choices in your school lunches. Until then, keep moving!

See you in March!

Brittanny Boulanger, MD

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About Dr. Brittanny Boulanger

Joined Harvard Vanguard: 2005 Undergraduate School: Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH Medical School: University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA Internship: Golisano Children's Hospital, Rochester, NY Residency: Golisano Children's Hospital, Rochester, NY Board Certification: Pediatrics Hospital Affiliations: Children's Hospital, Boston, MA; Winchester Hospital, Winchester, MA Clinical Interests: Newborn medicine and adolescent medicine Personal Interests: Running, soccer, hiking, skiing, travel and spending time with her two young children.

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