If you scan local radio, you’re probably familiar with the voice of Olympia Dicks, better know as Olympia D. assistant program director for Radio One Charlotte and midday on-air personality for Old School 105.3.

She has gained a strong following in Charlotte, but what you may not know is that Olympia D. also wears another cap – mother to Brilliance, age 10.

In spite of a hectic schedule, this single mom finds time to incorporate fitness into her life and makes it a priority to include her daughter. For Olympia D., staying fit really is a family affair.

“I’ve always been into fitness,” she told me during a recent interview. It started when she was young in the small town of Williston, S.C., where she attended aerobics classes with her mother and did weightlifting with her father.

Because events there were limited, Olympia D. participated in basketball, volleyball, ran track and played the clarinet in the band, all in an effort to get out of the house and have fun.

More parents should take her lead.

According to The State of Obesity, a collaborative project of the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:

• 16.9 percent of children in the U.S. are obese and 31.8 percent are either obese or overweight
•7 of the 10 states with the highest obesity rates for ages 10-17 are in the South
• 22 states have an adult obesity rate of 30 percent or higher.

In Olympia D.’s home, these statistics aren’t likely to trickle down. Becoming a mother has only strengthened her love of fitness.

“When I had my daughter, I found ways to incorporate her into my workout routines, because a babysitter wasn’t an option,” she says.

What started with pushing Brilliance in a stroller has morphed into regular fitness sessions. And the summer presents new opportunities to stay fit for this mother-daughter duo. Their activities run the gamut — walks, runs, pushups, jump rope, etc.

“Exercising with your children allows you time to bond more, helps them build positive self-image, teaches great habits and helps everyone become healthier,” she says. “We’re very competitive with each other.”

In an industry where competition is fierce, exercise also helps Olympia D. stay fit professionally.

“I work in a fast-paced, high-energy environment, and I need exercise for stress management and weight control,” she says. “Plus, I want to inspire other mothers to figure out ways to incorporate their children so they can have a healthier and happier life.”

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Sondra E. Z. Hines is an AFAA-certified group fitness instructor, Zumba instructor, workshop presenter and motivational speaker. A former adjunct professor, she has 15-plus years as a fitness instructor...