Posted: December 28, 2011
I noticed something during our Christmas shopping this year. People seemed to fall into two groups. One was pretty healthy, but there were quite a few who were overweight.
I didn’t see many people in the middle. And the older they got, the more extreme the differences. It seemed like there were those who were moving well, and those who weren’t. Is it just me, or our there more people in motorized carts these days?
“Use it or lose it” is just as applicable as it ever was. As we stop moving, our muscles atrophy (get smaller), our bones weaken, and we accumulate excess fat. Even if our weight hasn’t changed, our body composition has. And if our weight has gone up, our body fat has really gone up!
I’ve got a toddler, and he’s a machine. He’s up and down, all around, moving constantly. Picking things up, throwing them down. He does hundreds of body squats. One of these days I’m going to put a pedometer on him just to see how far he goes!
But I’ve noticed that at a certain age, kids start slowing down. They’ll start spending more time watching TV and playing video games. Every minute they spend sitting on the couch, is a minute they’re not moving anymore.
Kids involved in sports have the opportunity to stay in shape, but the ones that don’t participate will slow down even more. And it’s tough to catch up, because even gym classes aren’t offered every day at many schools these days.
That’s why I’m a big believer in having kids in something, whether it’s team sports, or an individual sport like gymnastics or Taekwondo. We’ve got to keep them moving.
It applies to adults too. Young adults that were active in high school or college sports often stop playing altogether once they enter the real world and start jobs and families. And most of our jobs don’t involve enough real activity to keep us healthy.
It takes a concerted effort to get in shape and stay there. But it’s not impossible. Plenty of people have made the commitment to stay moving. I’ve even got 60, 70 and 80 year olds I’ll see in the gym exercising every day. They want to keep moving.
Of course, the other part of the problem is the changes we’ve made to our diet. There was a time when eating fast foods were the exception. Now they’re often the rule. Junk foods have become staples in our pantries.
Unfortunately, they’re filled with empty calories that don’t provide the same nutritional value. At least if you’re active, you’ll probably burn them off. But if consumed by someone who isn’t very active, junk foods are usually excess calories, which are stored as fat.
It comes down to this. You can get moving, or get fat. You can eat right, or get fat. That sounds harsh, but in the end, if you’re not moving, and you’re not eating right, it’s going to go to your end!
The good news is that for most people, even if you’re overweight, you can turn it around. I’ve seen plenty of people lose 30, 40, 50, 60, and even 100 lbs. I personally lost 35 lbs last year and it’s changed my life. I want to keep moving.
So do you want to get moving, and learn how to start eating better? You might try our community-wide Biggest Loser “15” which starts Monday, January 2nd. If you have questions, feel free to contact Tom through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tomdolanfitness !