Sunday, August 7, 2011

Kids Aren't Getting Active, Americans Putting on Weight - Do I Need Studies to Tell Me This?!

In scanning some recent health and fitness news releases, I find a headline that informs me that a ‘new study’ proves many children are not getting enough exercise. Ummm, duh? Do we really need another study to state the obvious? And are people still funding these studies instead of actually taking proactive measures to get these kids moving?
This particular study came by way of the YMCA, tracked kids from 5-10 from over 1,600 American families. The results were that 58% of these youngsters were not getting outside to play for at least four days a week. The reason for this was cited that the parents kept the kids inside to spend time at the computer or with the TV instead.
“Among the factors you could blame are technology, time and money,” explains the YMCA’s US Director of Chronic Disease Prevention, Dr. Matt Longjohn. “There are many small things that make it very difficult for families to get an hour of physical activity a day.”
That sounds very familiar to the same kind of excuses adults are using to shirk a sweat session. We’ve tackled, answered, and busted those excuses before and making fitness a priority goes for people of all ages. Sure, schools cutting programs makes it harder but that doesn’t mean you have to cut out any kind of exercise…there are 24 hours in a day.
Families can workout together or at least during the same time, and if you don’t have an hour then make that shorter workout more intense. Doing intervals will take you less time but you can get the same, sometimes better, results than a moderate effort lasting twice as long.
It also comes down to parents setting the example of fitness being fun and an important part of a healthy life. We can revisit our tribute to moms for that one and read a few of their pointers.
I’m amazed sometimes at what the ‘results’ from these studies are, and that they make it to headline status. Not long ago there was one that issued this late-breaking alert: Americans are putting on weight, latest study reports that it is most likely due to increased portion sizes.
Does that one even warrant a response? :)

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