The Wellness Roundup With Dr. Jill

Make Fitness a Priority If You Want to Feel Better and Have More Fun

Fitness is one of my favorite wellness tips to talk and write about!  Unlike telling my patients and their parents to eat more veggies, get to bed earlier, or drink more water, intentional movement can be a lot of fun and many of the benefits you’ll experience will be instant.

First, let’s focus on the instant gratification. 

When you get up off the couch or get up from your desk and start moving, the physiologic magic begins!  Your brain immediately starts to produce natural chemicals like endorphins and dopamine which boost your mood, increase energy levels, and reduce stress.  So instead of watching another movie or playing another video game, get up and move so your inactivity doesn’t cause a vicious cycle that most Americans experience on a daily basis.  They eat too much unhealthy food, feel a little depressed due to the negative effects of that food on the gut microbiome, and then eat more food to “feel better”.  (Look back to my article on How To Improve Your Mental Health or at our recent Nutrition News video, Mood and Food).  Instead, text your friend, grab your kids, or ask someone you know to go for a walk, bike ride, hike, jog, or anything that involves physical activity to make the most of the day.

If you do have the luxury of going outside, you’ll also reap the direct benefits of getting fresh air into your lungs and the sunshine (vitamin d) on your skin.  I wish more people knew that being active and having a consistent fitness routine helps optimize their cardiovascular system and helps send more oxygen and nutrients to their body’s tissues. 

Now, let’s focus on the fun.

For the parents who are reading this, do you remember how awesome it felt to just go outside and play when you were a kid?  You loved it because in addition to all of the benefits that I mentioned above, you got to see your friends, make new ones, get dirty, laugh out loud, play an impromptu game of hide and seek or hop scotch, get a little scraped up, work up a big appetite for dinner, then sleep like a rock after a nice shower because you were exhausted (in a good way).  It’s the same for all of the children who are reading this.  You may not go out and ride your bikes from the moment you come home from school until the streetlights come on like adults did when we were young because society has changed a little in regard to how much freedom you guys have to roam the neighborhood.  However, there are plenty of ways to make fitness and exercise fun in 2021. 

Here are two simple examples:

1) Make up some fun/goofy/challenging Tik Tok dance routine but don’t worry about recording it and sharing it with the world.  Instead, just focus on the smiles, movement, sweat, and laughter by yourself in the mirror or with a few friends and family members who also like to dance.

2) Speaking of friends, fitness enables you to find others who share similar interests.   The next time you have lunch, talk about what your interests are and which physical activities you enjoy.  Chances are, you’ll find someone else who also likes to go hiking, kick the soccer ball around, or play catch.  Whether it’s an organized program after school, you and a friend meeting up, or just you with a family member, it shouldn’t be that hard to find someone else who might be feeling a little lonely or bored and would prefer to share some time with good company as well.

Fitness also has long-term benefits.

As you get older, physical fitness will help keep your mind sharp.  Exercise releases important proteins in your brain that allow it to continue to perform at optimal levels throughout adulthood.  This helps prevent early onset of many neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.  Staying active also burns calories, helps you digest food more efficiently, and lowers your blood pressure which can help prevent obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

A person who is physically active on a consistent basis has better balance and flexibility.  Improved balance will help prevent you from falling off your bike, taking a misstep on the stairs, or experiencing a serious injury when you trip on some uneven pavement. And, since exercise helps to keep your muscles strong and helps to keep your joints, ligaments, and tendons flexible, you’ll enjoy the daily benefits of better posture and increased mobility.  

Now that I’ve told you about all the ways that fitness can be fun and how you can feel better, stop reading this and go outside!  Go swim, ski, pick up a hula-hoop, kick a soccer ball, dribble a basketball, walk around the house, turn on some music and dance, go walk the dog, go walk someone else’s dog who may need some help, go pick up a piece of trash from your neighbor’s  lawn, cook a nutritious meal for your family, play charades, do some yoga, see if you can do 10 push ups, lift some light weights, or go clean your room! (just kidding on that last one.) 🙂

Just get up, move, raise your heart rate, sweat a little, and HAVE SOME FUN!

Dr. Jill 🙂

Important Flu Clinic Info for Healthy Kids Pediatrics

Check out our latest video to see Dr. Jill, Dr. Namm, and Dr. Torres review important information regrading this year’s Flu Clinics at Healthy Kids Pediatrics. (plus a little bonus at the end) 😃 

Here’s a quick recap: 

1) Back by popular demand, our Flu Clinics will be “Drive Through” in our parking lot once again for all of our patients 6 months and older.

2) Flu Clinic Dates- (Wednesday, Sept 15th in the afternoon, Saturday Sept 25th in the morning, and Monday Oct 11 in the afternoon); please call our office to schedule your child/children’s appt. 844-437-5455 

3) Watch the helpful instructional video we made so you know where to go and what to do when you arrive. (link in comments below) 

4) Please dress your children in loose fitting clothing/sleeves and for the little ones please make sure their upper legs are exposed. 

5) If you have a well visit in September or October, you can get your flu shot then instead. 6) We are allowing siblings to come to scheduled well visits to get their flu shots as well. 

7) We are unable to provide flu shots for parents this year, but we strongly advise parents to get their flu shots as well. 

8) Children6 months to 8 years old who are getting their first flu vaccine this year will need a booster vaccine at least one month after their first vaccine. 

9) For the little toddlers and infants, this booster vaccine can be done at their next well visit. 

10) Please keep in mind that flu vaccines are mandatory for children who attend daycare/preschool. As you know we encourage the flu shot every year since influenza virus does kill children each year. Being vaccinated will greatly reduce the risk that your child’s winter illness will be caused by influenza. 

And remember, good hand washing, keeping fingers away from your face, and getting proper sleep, exercise, and nutrition are the foundations to staying healthy. 

Have a great school year!! 


Healthy Kids Pediatrics is a Partner Like No Other.” – Another 5 Star Review for the HKP Team

Wow, Stephanie!! 🙏 

Thank you so much for this amazing 5 Star Review! We really appreciate you taking the time to share your kind words about The Healthy Kids Team! -HKP💛 

“We have been with Dr. Jill and her team since the moment our boys were born and we could not ask for a better healthcare provider for our children. The time, attention and care they give their patients – and their patients’ often nerve-wracked parents – is nothing short of extraordinary. And they have only stepped up their game in the age of Covid, a challenge that, I dare say, is not easily met given the almost unfathomable level of anxiety and uncertainty it has introduced. 

The addition of Dr. Namm and Dr. Torres has only boosted our family’s confidence that no matter what, our children are in excellent hands. In fact, every last member of the Healthy Kids’ team – from the kind and patient office manager to the friendly and soothing medical assistants to the ever-attentive scribes – has never failed to make us feel reassured, informed and comforted. 

At a time when parenting seems to be made more stressful everyday, Healthy Kids Pediatrics is a partner like no other.” – Stephanie Kivich

Kudos to Christine! Another 5 Star Google Review for Healthy Kids Pediatrics

Kudos to Christine, one of our awesome Medical Assistants here at Healthy Kids Pediatrics, for getting this fantastic 5 Star Google Review! 👍

Thank you Melissa Roth for taking the the time to share your positive feedback with us!

-HKP 🙏

“I absolutely love Dr. Jill and her team. This morning, I brought my son in for his routine checkup and had the most amazing experience with Christine. She is one of the nurses on staff and honestly, I can’t rave about her more. She was so patient, so kind, and honestly, just a genuinely nice person. I really can’t recommend her enough. Thank you so much for really caring for our children as if they are your own! And thank you Christine for being amazing!”💛

Healthy Kids Pediatrics Embracing Modern Technology Once Again

We are embracing modern technology again. 🙂📱 

When you arrive for your next visit here at Healthy Kids, please call or text the front desk at 844-437-5455 BEFORE entering our office. 💡 

We’ll just need the patient’s last name and the time of their appointment.

A Healthy Kids Team Member will reply with the green light to enter. ✅ 

In addition to OSHA updating their guidelines for medical settings earlier this month, this new entrance policy will help us keep our appointment schedule as “on time” as possible which is always our goal for you. ⏰ 

Thank you for doing your part to help us! 🤜 


Dr. Jill Promotes Promotes Proactive Communication and Preventative Medicine on HLN

Dr. Jill and Susan Hendricks discuss the recent decision by the state of Tennessee to stop vaccine outreach programs aimed at kids. -HKP

“As pediatricians our goal is to prevent illness and disease before it starts and vaccines are a highly effective and safe way that we can protect our patients.

The pandemic unfortunately set us back tremendously in our efforts to fully vaccinate children due to completely understandable hesitancy and fear by families and we are just starting to recover from that. So when we hear that a department of health is ordering a halt on routine vaccine reminders (and as in the case with Tennessee, notably, for kindergarteners and teens) it sets us back even further and creates more risk of serious infection and death.

In my personal experience, I know many well-informed families who don’t need anyone to remind them about vaccinating their children or coming in for scheduled well visits, but of course there are also many families who rely on the healthcare community to vaccinate their children on schedule and with the appropriate vaccines.

Eliminating these outreach programs in Tennessee is detrimental to all the hard work of pediatricians in that state who advocate for children on a daily basis. “

-Dr. Jill Garripoli Pedalino

%d bloggers like this: