Helping Families Get Healthy- Tip #5
By Nurse Kimberly
Tip #5 will be easy for some people and harder for others. But whether it is easy or hard doesn’t matter. Following the advice in Tip #5 can help save your life, seriously.
Tip #5 is MOVE.
Statistics and research show that spending the majority of your time sedentary can lead to severe health consequences and sometimes even cardiac arrest. Sedentary is an adjective. It can be defined as long periods of sitting, not engaging in physical activity, or not being involved in a sufficient amount of movement. Some people have jobs that make being sedentary while at work hard to avoid. But there are ways to get moving, it just might require thinking outside the box.
People need to move. It really is a matter of life and death. What’s most sad is that the kids who live sedentary lifestyles are already causing damage to their bodies. The problem is the damage caused by lack of physical activity is not always apparent to the naked eye because its happening inside the body. Maybe this is the reason why we are in an obesity epidemic. What will it take for us to help each other wake up and overcome this horrific disease? Will it be like smoking was? How many people died before people decided to quit smoking? Its one thing to not know that something is bad, but once you know it is your responsibility to take action for yourself and your family. Here are just a few of the reasons “not moving” is bad.
The body needs movement. The heart, one of the most important muscles in the body, needs a continuous supply of blood. When you are not moving the rate at which the heart receives the blood can slow down. Over time this can cause angina and irreversible damage. Physical activity is also needed to help regulate the bodies blood glucose levels. If you are spending the majority of your time not moving, still taking in an excess amount of calories, and gaining weight then your risk for Type 2 Diabetes increases. This is extremely alarming because Type 2 Diabetes in the past was referred to as adult onset disease. But now that 1 out of every 3 children is overweight and 1 out of every 5 is obese this is no longer the case. There are actually children developing a chronic disease in part because of their poor eating habits and sedentary lifestyle. How traumatic for a child to endure the pain and suffering that accompanies Type 2 Diabetes, a preventable disease. And what about our bones? If we aren’t moving, neither are our bones. This can raise the risk of developing osteoporosis and arthritis. The most debilitating thing that living a sedentary lifestyle can lead to is obesity. Obesity might not seem as bad as Diabetes or heart disease but obesity can lead to both of those and many other irreversible health consequences.
What is the answer to I don’t have time, I’m too tired, or I don’t have a gym membership? These are good questions and they all have solutions. Your life and your family’s lives are worth taking the time to find ways to get active. If you don’t have time to get in a full hour of activity all at once that’s okay. Break out as many 10 or 15 minute sessions in a day as you can. Set the alarm fifteen minutes early, use half of your lunch break to walk, dance with your kids before dinner, do jumping jacks during commercial breaks, and make an effort to come up with fun creative ways you can move ( and please share). When you really try you will find time to move. There are also other ways to be active that don’t involve treadmills and intense exercise. If you and your family are out of shape start making small changes. When you go to the store try parking your car at the end of the parking lot. Start taking the stairs instead of the elevator and if you have stairs at work put them to use on your lunch break or after work. House and yard work can even be a great way to break a sweat. Next time you clean the house challenge yourself and the kids to break a sweat. Anything that gets your blood pumping and raises your heart rate is better than sitting all of the time.
Being tired is a hard one to handle. Most parents are tired. They work and then come home and work more. But it is vital that you move. Being active will lead to more energy and release those happy little neurotransmitters called endorphins. When endorphins are released so are increased feelings of euphoria. Its like a natural feeling of bliss. I am not promising this will happen immediately but it will. Having more energy and a positive mental state will be an awesome image for kids to mirror. Try adding in 15 minutes a day for two weeks. If you can do more great but just do some kind of activity everyday for two weeks. You will see a difference in your mind and energy level. If you want start also using the My Family Plate ABCD Healthy™ plate technique and download the FREE Starter Kit.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a membership to the gym. None of the physical activities I mentioned above require a gym. But if you are looking to start more organized physical activity to lose weight or to improve your cardiovascular and pulmonary health look at my article on simple at home work out ideas. They are what I used to lose weight and what I still use to stay in shape.
Start using Tip #5 right now! You could go outside and walk around the block, turn on some tunes and dance, or play an active game with your kids. Whatever you choose to do, just do. It’s for your health and that is important and activity is a fundamental of healthy living that every child should be exposed to. If you need ideas or help for Tip #5 let me know, it would be my pleasure to help. As always if you have creative activity ideas or exercise suggestions please share them with us on FACEBOOK. Now get MOVING!