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Tom’s Fitness and Paris Martial Arts

“THE OUTSIDE FORCE”

Posted: July 12, 2012

Last week we talked about excuses. This week, I want to talk about one reason why we’ve become an overweight society.

There’s a principle in physics that states that objects at rest tend to stay at rest unless acted on by an outside force. Likewise, objects in motion tend to stay in motion unless also acted on by an outside force.

A good example is trying to push a stalled car off the road without any help. At first, it’s pretty hard to get it moving, but once you get going and build up a little speed, it’s a little easier to keep it going. This is called overcoming inertia, which can be difficult.

I think this can apply to us too. Have you ever noticed that very few toddlers are out of shape? They’re moving all the time, up and down, all around, and getting lots of exercise just in their play.

But once they get a little older, their activity level can get cut back if they’re not in some organized sports. If you step back and look at the big picture, you start to see two very different types of kids: those who are in pretty good shape and those who are overweight.

Those who are active, tend to stay active and stay in pretty good shape. Those who quit moving start putting on weight, even as a child. In this case, the outside force is the TV and video games, which act like anchors that weigh them down.

If you’re not careful about regulating their TV and game time, the older they get, the more pronounced the weight gain, and then you have a candidate for childhood obesity. Studies show that if someone is obese as a teenager, they are much more likely to be obese as an adult. At that point, it’s really hard to turn things around.

I also run into quite a few people who were active in high school, or even college, but things got out of control later. Once they started work and a family, they became less active. In this case, the outside force was the demands on their time and energy.

Sometimes, you can get your start by actually stopping something. Like they say, if you know you’re digging a hole for yourself, the first thing to do is to stop digging.

It might be as simple as quitting drinking pop. Then you can start replacing certain junk foods with better choices. Then, you might start going for 20 minute walks every day. You can start building from that.

Once you start fighting back, your motivation becomes the new outside force. The more you want it, the more you’ll be willing to make the changes necessary. When your “know you need to” becomes not just a “want to” but a “have to” that’s when you’ll be on your way. To borrow from George Lucas and Obi-Wan, “may the “force” be with you.”

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tomdolanfitness !