The older you are, the more you have seen things change. As
adults, we can remember when life wasn’t so simple. There was a time when we
had to get up to turn the tv, prepare our own food and do our own yardwork. Our
lives are pretty automated, now, and most everything is convenient to where we
live. If you think about it, it seems like new technology and progress have had
an effect on us. It is keeping us on the couch.
However, we can’t blame technology by itself. Fast food also
became a regular outing, back in the 1980’s. Some of us eat it every day, not
just every once in a while. And now, instead of just one fast food restaurant
to choose from, we have a line of them up and down the street, and on both
sides of the road. We have multiple options of food choices, and we don’t even
have to get out of the car to get it, or eat it. You gotta love progress.
Is this real progress? Maybe we need to go back to the
basics, before weight became an issue for Americans, to fix the problem.
Perhaps, our sedentary lifestyle is making us fat, our bad eating habits are
keeping us that way, and our lack of changing it is making it worse every year.
This is a growing problem, for us as individuals, and for America as a nation.
So to fix it, let’s start with ourselves, but make sure we
include our children in the changes, too. If we don’t reach the kids of
America, then we will miss the next generation, and the cycle will continue.
Looking back at how our lifestyle changed over the last few
generations, it’s easy to see the factors that contribute to our weight gain.
With children and us, we are sitting too much. We need to get up and be active.
It’s not a choice, or a chore, it is something that our body requires to stay
healthy. Children need at least one hour of physical play a day. But a typical
kid in America only gets 15 minutes. We must encourage that they play outside
daily. Ask them to go swing on their swing set or play on their play set. Video
games are not exercise.
We are also eating too large of portions and too many fatty
foods. A typical portion size is a ½-1 cup of vegetables, one starch, and 4-6
ounces of meat. In a restaurant, they double those portions. And at home, it’s
easy to grab the big dinner plate and fill it up, or go get second portions. We
have to exercise a little self-control, to turn things around.
Suggested things for children to contain the bad habits:
control their portions, encourage they eat vegetables every day, don’t let them
eat in front of the tv, and make sure they go outside and play every day! They
will love it once they get outside and run around. Playing outside is part of
being a kid!
For the adults, some simple changes that we can make are
portion control at mealtime, walking outside or on a treadmill (or other
exercise) every day, and staying away from fast food. Making a commitment to
eat our vegetables first, and the meats and starches last, will help us to fill
up on the good foods first. Eating slowly and enjoying your food is a great way
to trick your stomach into being full sooner.
I encourage every person to exercise, even if it’s just a
little every day. The benefits of activity to our heart and body are enormous,
and the way you will feel afterward will be a great reward.
Some great outdoor activities for kids can be found at: www.gorillaplaysets.com/
Some of the best advice for diet and exercise can be found
For statistics on heart attacks, high blood pressure and
diabetes, go to: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/