A Fitness Editorial
While this isn’t meant to be political, and while it isn’t meant to discuss the line items of her plan against childhood obesity, I do agree with the First Lady of the United States with one thing over all: we all need to eat healthier and move more. The children definitely need to be taught this so that they can be introduced to good habits that they can use throughout their lifetimes. Any of you that have read any of those nostalgia emails that talk about “Remember When” will recall that in the days before Cable TV and Play Stations, children actually played outdoors until dinner time or nightfall and had to be herded back into the house. Almost all children were far more active than they are now. Further more, a lot of their mothers stayed at home and prepared healthy food and “fast food” was a special treat and not a staple like it is now. American lifestyles certainly have changed and health-wise, not necessarily for the better.
Good Fitness Habits Should be Taught Early in Life
I feel for those who do not have the life experience references of American life in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. It was truly a different world then for fitness and nutrition and obesity was virtually unheard of. Children were active and slender and were interested in remaining active. We kept moving, be it on our bicycles, skateboards, dance classes, football teams, cheerleading, softball, hiking, tree-climbing, you name it. Nobody had to tell us to be active, we just did! As a result, I think more of us developed a self-awareness that gave us a desire to remain fit. For us girls, we wanted to look good in our clothes, and if we didn’t, we would camouflage our flaws the best that we could. Today, I notice countless overweight teenagers, wearing form-fitting clothes that we would have been appalled to wear had we been as overweight as they. I’ve seen girls with spandex low cut tops that shows off every jiggle in their flabby stomachs as they walk through the mall. Where are their mothers? Did anyone not teach them better?
I didn’t mean to get all preachy there, but it just underscores the fact that we all need to move more; and it does need to begin at an early age. If I didn’t have the early childhood habits and experience of being active, I doubt seriously how much I would do at this stage of my life had I not been exposed to moving around and learn how enjoyable and therapeutic physical activity can be. If you have children or grandchildren, then please encourage their activity levels; try to involve them whenever you can! If you can also instruct them on better eating habits, they will forever be grateful. In fact, I wonder if good health and fitness is really being taught these days? If not, then it should be, as good health and fitness doesn’t seem to be as intuitive with the lifestyles that we are living in the 2010s.
Just as in another tribute to nostalgia, we need to respond as the Marines would to Sergeant Carter on Gomer Pyle when he would bellow, “Move it, move it, move it!” The troops were in shape. More people should be in shape. Let’s “move it!” The results are worth it, and Michelle Obama would be proud.