If I could name one thing that I am most passionate about it would have to be “MOVEMENT”
***Warning: Very wordy post, but it’s what I am passionate about so I have a lot to say.
No surprises for many of you. I am obsessed with motivating people to get up and do something. With obesity, heart disease and arthritis effecting so much of the population I truly feel the simple act of moving could benefit everyone.
Many people think if they eat healthy, eat clean, don’t smoke, buy organic, avoid chemical/pesticides/antibiotics and such that they will be healthy. I am not saying this all will not help you become healthier however, if you do not move your body on a regular basis in some way you will not be healthy.
When I hear about schools debating cutting back on gym classes I just cringe at this decision. Granted, it is not a schools responsibility to give our children an active lifestyle BUT one hour a day is pretty important when that may be the only hour that child is active all day long. I make it a point to keep the kids I care for active on a daily basis. This is not always easy being there is snow on the ground and it is freezing outside 6 out of 12 months of the year where I live. Ultimately, it takes some creativity and some thought but it is by far what I would consider difficult. Tumbling exercises, jumping on big pillow piles and toddler yoga are some activities you can do with your children in the winter months. Summer months are so full of possibilities that you would never run out of ideas. It could be as easy as a walk. I take a walk every single day(weather permitting) with my daycare kids and whom ever is able to walk, walks. Typically by 18-20 months they are walking well enough to make a mile block at a toddler pace. This is pretty amazing to most parents simply because they have never left there child walk by their side at this age, they are still being carried. From walking age on I very rarely carry my kids….why, when they can walk?
Let’s move on to a little older, such as when they discover video games, television, computers, tablets, etc. This is when most parents loose control of their children in my eyes. Two big words come to mind when I think of this age. PARENT and FRIEND. Of course we all want our children to come to us in times of need, to like us like a friend, to enjoy spending time with us and we want to give them everything we possibly can in life. What parent wouldn’t? The one thing I think most of us forget is that before we can be our child’s friend we have an obligation to be their parent. In good times and in bad, like it or hate it, want to or don’t, it is our responsibility. So instead of loosing control and letting your son/daughter tell you when you get to leave for the park, go bike riding, play catch in the yard etc., you need to make some boundaries and STICK TO THEM!!!! Teach them how to earn fun things(like if we get up and go to work everyday we get paid $). They give you 60 minutes of active play time and in return you give them 60 minutes of video game time. We did this with our son and it worked wonderful. His friends did not like it too much but they did all get out there and play kickball for an hour before they came in on a sunny summer day to sit in front of the television to play video games. This is not always easy and there will be arguments but you will be benefiting your child’s health which is, as a parent, your responsibility. (Remember: there is a plug or battery for every electrical device out today, don’t be afraid to pocket this if you have to just to get them motivated)
Onto young adults/adults which by this time the damage is starting to set in. Your joints hurt, your lazy, weight is creeping higher, and your physicals are not so much fun anymore. You start hearing words like diabetes, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure and so on and wonder how this happened. Which is such a stupid question and we all know it. Look at yourself, get a mirror if you have to. I don’t think anything you see in that mirror will surprise you. Now what are you going to do to fix it? Let’s start with something slow and easy. A one mile walk a day would be terrific. And please don’t expect to not feel a little discomfort when you wake up the next morning.You walked your first mile in a long, long time. If you are not a walker, try a bike ride, take your kids to the park, try some basic weight lifting with the milk jug in your refrigerator. Just find something that get’s you up and moving for a short period of time. Keep in mind that even nursing homes offer active adult time for the elderly so YOU CAN DO THIS! Keep up this pace until the discomfort subsides (a few days) and then raise your activity level a little more. You are never to old to do something active.
I think you all get the point here, I am pretty passionate about movement at any age. It is the best thing you can do for yourself, your children, and your health.
****Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor of any kind. Everything I have told you here is basic knowledge. Something that we all know is true but we don’t like to hear.
If you have a medical condition or concern please clear anything you wish to try with your medical doctor before trying it.