Fit Family Challenge: Week 8

Dear Fit Family Challenge members,

It's time for your victory lap! You have successfully completed the Fit Family Challenge. Today is the final day to log your family's healthy activities for points at fitfamilychallengesc.com. The more points you earn, the better your chances of winning the Grand Prize: A family vacation to Universal Orlando Resort! Although the challenge is coming to a close, we hope you'll continue to stay active together as a family, and to use the lessons you've learned from the program to improve your family's overall well-being.

Weekly prizes

Stay tuned to find out the winners of the remaining Fit Family Challenge prizes, including a South Carolina Aquarium family package (2 adult tickets and 2 child tickets), a basket of produce from the MUSC Urban Farm, a $100 gift certificate to Whole Foods, and the Grand Prize vacation package. Click here to log your activity and boost your chances to win!

Tip of the week

This week's tip comes from Dr. Susan Johnson, Director of Health Promotion for the Medical University of South Carolina. She has also served as a life coach for our two Fit Family Challenge "Spotlight" families, the Hollars of Mount Pleasant and the Shellman-Vests of Summerville.

Welcome to the final week of the Fit Family Challenge! I hope that you and your family have enjoyed participating in this campaign as much as I have with mine. As we wrap up an amazing 8 weeks of healthy family activities throughout our state, I'd like to take this opportunity to reflect on my own experiences and provide some thoughts on how to continue building on our successes.

Back in May when I first signed up for the Fit Family Challenge, I remember being really impressed with the Web site and activity tracker. I really liked how easy it was to register myself and my daughters and how we could each log and track our own progress, not only around our daily activities but also focus on important health habits such as increasing our water intake, reducing screen time and making better food choices. These simple habits can have a huge impact on our overall health, and having a daily reminder was really helpful.

I also found that participating in the challenge made me very aware of the days that we were not active and realized how easy it is for work and school to get in the way of exercise and physical activity. Having a daily reminder helped keep us on track. Even if it was just a walk around the block before bed, it gave us something to log on busy days when we hadn't found the time to exercise.

My role as coach for the Spotlight families and the process of blogging throughout the challenge has also helped increase my awareness of the challenges we all face as busy working parents. Something that came up in our initial meeting with one of our Spotlight families - that I can relate to as a single parent - is the guilt we sometimes feel for not doing everything we can to create a healthy environment for our children. We all want the best for our families, and good health should be at the top of our list, but it's easier said than done. As with any change, connecting to what we value (our family), making a commitment (such as participating in a program like the Fit Family Challenge), and tracking progress (using a tool such as the FFC online tracker), can make it doable. Other helpful tools in the journey towards behavior change and creating a healthy lifestyle include setting goals, taking small steps, and recognizing that occasional setbacks will happen, but shouldn't permanently derail us.

At MUSC, we've been working hard to create a culture of wellness that helps people make better choices while they are on our campus through a commitment and connection to what we value, collaboration and connection to our community, and leading by example. Similarly, as a family we should commit to a healthy lifestyle and understand the connection to what we value (each other). We should seek out and take advantage of community resources to help us on our journey. Finally, as parents, we need to lead by example and help our children by being active and making healthy food choices as a family.

I sincerely hope that this experience has been as rewarding for your family as it has been for mine, and I hope that the habits and activities you have participated in as a family will continue. Of all the possible outcomes of this program, it is my greatest hope that participating in this challenge has brought your family closer together and that you have created new memories while making good health a family priority. Best wishes for continued health and happiness. We hope to see you next year!

To learn more about our MUSC experts, and read their Fit Family Challenge blog posts, click here. To learn about the Spotlight families and their wellness journeys, visit the Health page at YourLCP.com.

Eat well

For a healthy pairing of fruits and vegetables, try the unique combination of Skillet Asparagus with grapefruit. Get the recipe and watch a how-to video here.

Health news

The term "weight lifting" often conjures up images of beefy guys with bulging muscles pumping iron at the gym. But research shows that kids can benefit from strength-training programs, too. Read what Post and Courier reporter David Quick learned about kids and weight-bearing activities here.


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