_ Over the past few months I have become aware of something that really bother me. People have no idea what it means to be an “active person”! I have mostly seen it in younger people (ages 9-18), where, IF they get activity in during the day, it’s either a practice or game with their sports team, or a little 15 minute stint outside that usually consists of hanging around and texting, or kicking a ball around in a generally stationary position. I have talked with a good deal of these kids recently to fond out what their activity level is like at school, and have been even more shocked at how little people these days run around! Most breaks are spent hanging out, talking, eating, texting, playing games on their phones or catching up on work that they are slammed with. But it’s not just the kids, and in fact, arguably a huge reason the kids are so inactive is because their parents are even more inactive. There’s work, errands, social lives, taking care of kids, and on and on; so many excuses to not be active. I was shown a really funny TV ad that shows people excuses for not being active; and, as funny as it is, it is so completely true!
So, over the years people begin to form the idea that to stay healthy, they need to get out and be active for 15-30 minutes a day. They need to make sure this activity is scheduled into their busy lives and for the most part, it becomes one of those things that is the first to drop off the schedule the second the day gets out of hand. Well, I’m sorry, but a 15-minute walk around the block is NOT activity. Taking your kids to their soccer practice and pacing the sidelines is NOT activity. Getting outside after school and throwing a football back and forth between text messages is NOT activity. And the fact that our society is so lost in inactivity that these things can be considered activity is really, really sad.
I have to agree, if you are obese, completely inactive, really, really old, or horribly injured or sick because of a serious lack of health, a 15-30 minute stroll is extremely important. And this is the case especially if you have kids and can take them with you. But I feel like there needs to be a HUGE shift over the coming years to a point where we can all agree that a 15-30 minute walk is something we do after dinner to enjoy each others company and enjoy the evening air. And activity should be defined as getting to the gym, working out with friends, playing sports, running and playing outside; not because we have to, but because we don’t know any other way. Imagine if your go-to thing to do when you had a few hours to kill was to go explore the woods, climb a tree, hit a workout, go for a run, etc.? But, unfortunately, most people flop down on the couch, turn the TV on with a drink or snack and slowly destroy their bodies and minds.
So parents don’t tell your kids to go run around; don’t buy them video games and don’t keep crappy food in the house. Take your kids outside and play games with them. Motivate them to sign up for teams and leagues, and camps and so on. Oh, and do all this stuff yourself as well! Make being active a natural part of your life so that forcing yourself to get outside for a short walk isn’t what the world calls “activity” anymore. It’s up to all of us to change the definitions of things rather than accepting what we’ve become.
An active person is one who loves and craves activity; one who actually lives actively. If you have to schedule activity into your or your family’s lives, you all are not active people. You are merely attempting to mask the lazy, unhealthy, unhappy people you are. Yep, I went there, and I defend that statement to the death. We as human beings are meant to be highly active. We are built for it. Don’t let our bodies and minds evolve into weak mush like so many of us people are. Go a month without watching TV. Cut your time in the car (unless it’s going to be active) in half. Doing even one of those things will all of a sudden make your realize just how much time you really do have on your hands. And the more time you spend being active, the better your life will become. Just give it a try and see what happens.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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