Emphasis on Fitness

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on April 24, 2012 4:38 pm

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  ~ World Health Organization

Fitness is a lifestyle.  It is a deliberate action which is directed by a purposeful intention.  If we desire for our children to live and lead healthier and happier lives, then we must conscientiously set out to model a positive example. 

“Western society is in a state of health never seen in history.  We are fatter, less productive, and at a higher risk of developing disease, early osteoporosis, and clinical depression than ever before.” (Brazier, 2009, p. 3)  What has caused the decay of our society’s health and wellbeing?  Is it that we are less driven or motivated?  Is it that our time is occupied with technological or occupational endeavors preventing us from being fit? Whatever our excuse, whatever the reason, we must learn to embrace the need for a healthier lifestyle. 

The lack of physical activity can compound our internal and external stressors.  “Chronic negative stress also is linked to insomnia, anxiety, and depression.” (Starr & McMillan, 2010, p. 297)

The benefits of fitness are countless.  Living a fit life will lead to having a healthier life.

BE A POSITIVE ROLE MODEL

As a parent, you do not have to be a star athlete, a potential Olympian, or a guru of health and wellness to know the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.  Living a healthy and active lifestyle offers many advantages. Physical activity can take on a variety of forms:  simply walking, joining a fitness class, or participating in a sports team.

BECOME AWARE

You can become nutritionally savvy by reading current literature produced by the Department of Health and Human Services; Health Canada; Agricultural Research Service; Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion; and many other private and public forums. 

Know the facts; there are many myths about health and wellbeing.   Do not fall for the false arguments being presented on the internet or through unreliable sources.  “When it comes to health, there’s a lot of ‘information’ floating around on the grapevine, and not all of it is recognizable for what it is – which may be anything from truth to half-truth to nothing-like-the-truth.”  (Jenkins, 2012, Online)

ENCOURAGE AN ACTIVE LIFESTYLE

Fitness is a source of pride.   A good physique is reflective in a good mindset.  Children and adults who keep themselves physically active are more likely to enjoy healthy self confidence and self-esteem.  Our society has become one of lethargy.  Children who are taught to be fit early on, are commonly taught healthy approaches to life.   What are some healthy approaches to life?

1. Be a positive role model of activity.  Even those with health limitations can be active.

2. Reduce our chances of contracting or developing physical diseases. “A healthy diet can reduce the risk of major chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and some cancers.” (USDA, 2012, Online)

3. Employ a healthy diet.  “The healthiest diet is one high in plant foods and low in salt and saturated fats (which are found in meat and also in dairy products that aren’t nonfat).” (ADA, p. 249)

4. Encourage active play. Limit the amount of time that your children are being inactive (i.e. playing video games, watching the television).

5. Assign chores ~ chores encourage responsibility and an active lifestyle. 

6. Encourage active outings.  Rather than going to the latest movie, consider going for a hike, bike ride, a swim, or some other outdoor activity.  Strive to be physically active. 

SAVORING EVERY MOMENT

Have you ever considered how time simply flies by?  Our overall Life is very reflective of our eating habits.  For many of us, eating is about filling a void rather than experiencing a moment in time.  It is important that we take time to savor our food as we should savor life.  

It is never too late to learn healthy eating habits.  “Savor your food.  Eat slowly, enjoy the taste and textures, and pay attention to how you feel.  Be mindful. Eating very quickly may cause you to eat too much.” (USDA, 2012, Online)

Furthermore, it is never too late to learn to live a healthy life.  All aspects of life should be an evolutionary concept.  We should constantly be seeking to evolve in our thoughts, mind, body, and spirit. 

HEALTHY LIVING, HEALTHY LIFE

The greatest wealth is health.  ~ Virgil

A truly healthy life is comprised of our entire being.   Good physical and mental health is pivotal to living a healthy life.  Consider the last time you were under-the-weather.  Did you feel energetic, motivated, or inspired? Were you up to running a physical or mental marathon? It is difficult to consider tackling life’s challenges when we are under-the-weather.  Yet, when we are feeling healthy, we are capable of conquering the greatest of obstacles.  It is essential that we not focus on a singular aspect of our being, rather that we consider our needs from a global perspective.  

Authors:   Dr. Asa Don Brown, Ph.D. and Deborah Pickering is a Bachelors of Science student with an emphasis in Psychology at Capella University

REFERENCES

American Diabetes Association, ADA (2005) Preventing type 2 diabetes in children and teens. Diabetes Spectrum 18 (4), 249-250

Brazier, B. (2009) Thrive fitness, Mental and physical strength for life. Toronto, Ontario: Penguin Group

Jenkins, K. (2012) 25 health myths exposed. Retrieved April 17, 2012 from http://www.canadianliving.com/health/prevention/25_health_myths_exposed.php

Starr, C. & McMillan, B. (2010). Human Biology. (8th ed). Belmont, California: Brooks and Cole

United States Department of Agriculture, USDA (2012) Build a healthy meal, 10 tips for healthy meals. Retrieved April 18, 2012, from http://choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/downloads/TenTips/DGTipsheet7BuildAHealthyMeal.pdf

United States Department of Agriculture, USDA (2012) Dietary guidelines for Americans. Retrieved April 18, 2012, from http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/

RECOMMENDED SITES

Canada’s Food Guide http://hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/alt_formats/hpfb-dgpsa/pdf/food-guide-aliment/print_eatwell_bienmang-eng.pdf

ChooseMyPlate.Gov  http://www.choosemyplate.gov/healthy-eating-tips/ten-tips.html

Fitness for Life  http://www.fitnessforlife.org/

USDA   http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/




*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

10 comments on “Emphasis on Fitness”

  1. lora says:

    I enjoyed the article and found it easy to read and understand. I wish that more people understood the importance of some form of excercise. Society has become too reliant on a drugs which give them a feeling of well being. Wouldnt it be wonderful if they could find that same comfort in just living a healthy lifestyle.

    1. Dear Lora ,

      Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my latest article. I wholeheartedly agree that “we” as a society have become too reliant upon the drugs, and less reliant upon the alternative methods that have proven themselves for generations. Nevertheless, I am a firm believer that medications have their place, as well as, need; current research has shown that society, especially Western Society has become a society dependent upon medications. Living a healthy lifestyle (physically, mentally, spiritually, and psychologically) is about balance; and sadly, the society with which we live today is imbalanced.

      Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

      Warm Regards,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

      1. Melodic says:

        I have to admit that i am a very lazy person. Working out has never been a prortiiy for me. But ever since i read this quote, it just dawned on me that i really have to persevere & set time to take care of my body. Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness.-Earl of Derbyisn’t that just the truth?I am still lazy, but i’d rather have the time to work out than be sick..^_~

        1. Dear Melodic

          I am appreciative of your time and review of my article on the “Emphasis on Fitness.” I sincerely appreciative of your candor. It is important that we keep a positive attitude, recognize our abilities, and follow our dreams.

          Thank you for offering your perspective.

          Warm Regards,

          Dr. Asa Don Brown

  2. Dr. Dan says:

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments and words. Fitness needs to be a primary focus in our children’s lives considering the fast food and high stressed lifestyles that society has adopted.

    Thanks again

    Dan

    1. Dear Dan,

      Thank you for taking the time to reply to my last article. It is unfortunate that the society has adopted a high stressed lifestyle and a fast food mentality. Hopefully, if we as parents offer a positive perspective on food and fitness, then our children will make positive choices in life.

      Again, thank you for your time and feedback.

      Warm Regards,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

  3. Tracy says:

    Thank you Dr Brown for reminding us the essential need for general fitness. I love the knowledge that we can promote physical fitness with our children by just doing things with them… playing at the park, swimming, walking the dog, playing catch. All you have to do is get out and do it.

    Thank you again

    Tracy

    1. Dear Tracy,

      Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my last article. I too “love the knowledge that we can promote physical fitness with our children by just doing things with them… (like) playing at the park, swimming, walking the dog, playing catch.” All too often, we are our greatest barrier to achieving or maintaining our optimal physical health. It is always important to remember, that we are not all the same, and our abilities may vary, we should all strive to live up to our own greatest potential.

      May you have a healthy day.

      Warm Regards,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

  4. D.Pickering says:

    Very well stated and easy for readers to understand.
    -Dorothy Pickering

    1. Thank you for taking the time to review and offer feedback on my latest article.

      May you have a truly blessed day.

      Warm Regards,

      Dr. Asa Don Brown

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