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Published on August 09, 2017

LEAP your family into better health

It's common knowledge in our society that eating right, exercising enough and having healthy coping skills such as quality sleep—to name just one of many—is key to good health. Yet we live in a multitask society that often seems to contradict living this lifestyle.

Many of us find ourselves skipping lunch to get our work done, running the kids to multiple after school activities resulting in yet another trip through the drive-thru for dinner or skipping exercise because we're just too busy. Before you know it, the lack of consistency with a healthy lifestyle has caught up and you're being told by your doctor that your weight is up or important lab values are high. Adults are not alone in receiving this unwanted news—we are seeing this issue more and more in our children, often requiring lifestyle interventions for the whole family.

If you feel your whole family could use some direction on how to improve health through lifestyle changes, Gundersen Health System and the YMCA may have just the thing. The program is called Family LEAP (Learn, Eat, Active Play). Held at the Healthy Living Center at the La Crosse YMCA, this 12-week weight management program is designed to help families make positive behavior changes and motivate children ages 8 to 12 years old to make healthier choices for a lifetime of better health. The program provides medical intervention, nutrition and behavioral health education/support, cooking demonstrations and fun physical activities.

Goals of the program

  • Improve eating habits
  • Increase acceptance of fruits and vegetables
  • Increase daily activity
  • Improve self-esteem
  • Achieve healthier weight for children
  • Improve health of the whole family

How to join

If you are interested, your first step would be talking with your child's pediatrician/primary care provider for a referral to be assessed for the program.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System staff deliver great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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