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Physical inactivity is a silent killer.
Education is a key component of achievement and behavior. It used to be that our structured education system not only dealt with the mental development of the child, but also with his/her physical health. Remember when Physical Education (PE) was mandatory from first through twelfth grade? Remember “dressing out?” PE today is much more informal and ineffective, often it does not even require changing out of street clothes, not challenging enough to break a sweat, and all too often PE disappears during the Junior High years never to return. Call PE a budgetary casualty.
Add to this failure of the modern education system the fact that most parents are too busy and too tired to play with their children, plus that it is too dangerous to play alone outside, and don’t ignore the nefarious effect of video games and the result is a kid who will not develop the liking, skills or discipline to exercise and remain lean and healthy. We are raising a generation that does not know how to exercise.
What is the true impact of this “trained” inactivity? The percentage of children who can be considered obese has tripled since 1980 and today sits at 21%. The problem does not go away, the percentage of obese adults has doubled reaching 40% of the US population. It appears that in this case a bad start leads to an even worse ending.
OK, so we are fat, so what? Well, obesity brings along many health issues such as heart decease, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, and joint decease. Additionally, obesity affects our feeling of self-worth (psychosocial effects). Obesity is a killer.
And in case that you have not figured it out where I am leading by now, experts blame inactivity and poor eating habits as the top two factors that drive obesity. So, teach your children the value and the pleasures that can be found in physical fitness. Enroll them in sports programs. Get personally involved, and in the process, think about that diet and don’t forget yourself. We don’t want to give up on our generation now, do we?
Let’s play ball!