It’s All in the Family for This Children’s Physician

One Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta physician learned many of his healthy habits while playing with his kids in the neighborhood pool and later in their lives as they started to compete in sports.

When Robert Dixon, MD, a Pediatric Hospitalist at Children’s Egleston Hospital, wanted to turn his not-so-heart-healthy habits around, he took a close look at his parents and siblings. Dr. Dixon’s family history put him at risk for hypertension, heart disease and osteoarthritis. So to avoid the health pitfalls he saw in his family, Dr. Dixon turned to exercise. He was in his 30s and jumped into the deep end—literally.

“My children were in preschool at the time,” he shares, “and our summers revolved around the neighborhood pool. I found it convenient to take up swimming. I joined the YMCA-sponsored Masters swimming group to continue to swim year-round.”

As his children grew up, so did Dr. Dixon’s wellness goals. “When my oldest son entered high school and joined the cross-country team, I took up running at the suggestion of his team coach. His coaching philosophy was as much about developing runners into lifetime exercisers as clocking fast race times.”

At age 45, Dr. Dixon decided to do a triathlon with Team in Training to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. “The experience ended up being a lot of fun and inspired both of my boys and my future daughter-in-law to participate in that sport,” he adds. “Over the years, I’ve run many road races with my now-grown children, including charity 5Ks, a half marathon and an Olympic-distance triathlon.”

If you’re considering starting an exercise program for your family, take advantage of these resources to begin your own journey to wellness.

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