#motivationmonday #childhoodobesity #parents #obesity
Childhood obesity is not a new topic. It’s talked about on the news, internet, and in print media. Like a lot of issues, people like to think it does not apply to their family, students, or children. The fact is the opposite. It is everyone’s responsibility to teach healthy habits to our youth. Kids learn how to eat and lead a healthy or unhealthy lifestyle from parents and teachers. In giving seminars to PE teachers, we stress the importance of being the fitness and health role model just like math, social studies, and science teachers are the role models for those subjects. The role of PE teachers is changing from a sport coach to a group fitness instructor. Look at the PE standards coming out on a national and state level. They don’t emphasize teach kids how to play football, baseball, basketball, and soccer. Instead the standards emphasize movement and all around fitness. Remember, only .5% of youth who play sports actually make a living at it on a professional level. What about the 99.5% of us who have to get real jobs and figure out how to eat and exercise on our own?
The only way childhood obesity can be reduced and eliminated is by being the role model as parents and teachers for healthy, active lifestyle. It’s ok to enjoy vegging on the couch and having dessert/sweet treats, just not on a daily basis. Nobody wins when the whole family is sluggish, overweight, and inactive. PE teachers, are you active and making overall good choices to show your students? Can you perform the movements properly in teaching your classes? If a math teacher doesn’t know their long division, they do not stay math teachers long. If a PE teacher cannot demonstrate movements and be healthy, there is no penalty. That doesn’t seem right.
Children do not pay for food and put it in the grocery cart. Children also do not get paid to teach physical education and teach healthy habits. It does not take drastic changes, just small ones on a daily basis. Do not buy those cookies this week, instead buy fresh fruit. Set aside 20 minutes to get your own exercise in twice this week. Small changes lead to larger changes in time. Start small and work your way into big, the brain and body will guide you automatically. Your kids will thank you, I promise!
I am the father of a teenager. It’s almost like being part of a recovery group for those that have or had teens. They are moody, stubborn, and know-it-alls. Sometimes, we think they aren’t even human. So besides sending them to an island or planet far away from the rest of normal humanity, what can be done to keep the rest of us from wanting to strangle them? Could exercise help, at least a little?
Believe it or not, the teenage brain functions from the same hormones and mechanoreceptors as an adult brain. Be it their hormones are raging at a completely different level, they are the same hormones as adults. When humans exercise, endorphins are released to make us feel good and reduce our perception of pain. “Runners high” is an example of this feeling. Our attitudes are more positive and outlook on life for a little bit is much better. Self esteem improves and our physical appearance is more pleasing to ourselves usually also. According to WebMD, exercise can be a treatment for depression. So maybe we should just tell our teenagers to get around the block a few times!
What exercise should hormonal teens do? If you ask them, their answer is only something that involves texting or watching YouTube. Obviously we are getting away from that, so the answer is something they can enjoy and sustain enjoyment. It doesn’t have to be high intensity constant motion for 60 minutes. Going on bike rides and hikes are still fun activities for all ages. We are all in much better moods after exercising in groups, so make socialization a part of it. For some teens, poor body image and self esteem prevent them from being more socially active. Exercising with them can ease their fears and a possible change in their physical appearance is the welcome side effect they are looking for. When you do physical activity outside, a whole world of additional benefits opens up also from stimulating all of the senses too.
Before we stick them on that rocket to space and ship to the deserted island, let’s encourage our teens by being active with them. It may not hurt us to lose a few pounds and step away from the devices either. Consult a doctor if serious depression or suicidal thoughts occur. For the “normal” raging teen, maybe tiring them out outside like we used to do when they were small, can still be a good strategy.
If you have any other strategies for dealing with teens, please share them with Matt at email@example.com, so he can help other parents not strangle their teens!
We all have heard the classic it takes 21 days to set or change a habit. How many of you have documented proof that on day 21 you have completely learned or unlearned a bad habit? Not very many of you have this proof. One of the reasons is science now tells us after 21 days you barely 1/3 of the way to making that change permanent. In a study found in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it states that changing habits takes 66 days! No wonder it is so difficult to make changes that last.
In today’s “give it to me now” society, 66 days seems like 66 months. What is a person to do about this? Well the range of days is actually 18-254, depending on the person. The point is learning new healthier habits takes work and is not easy. Stick to a challenging yet realistic plan that sets you up for success. If for some reason you do not accomplish the goal for the day, no worries, everything is fine, start again the next day. Continuing to build momentum toward making a permanent change is the main focus and having a bad day or two is just human. With weight loss for example, two to three pounds a week is what you will average out when your weight goal is done. It starts with making better choices on a daily basis and learning from the failures and successes.
The motivation comes from your Why. If your Why is not big enough, your habit will not change. Think about your Why everyday and let it guide you to make those healthier choices of walking, eating less sugar, or lifting more weight than usual. Adding up the small daily wins gives you the huge victory in 66 short days later! Get some support and accountability, then change your mindset to a longer view than tomorrow. A healthier you is loved and appreciated by everyone you have a relationship with: business, family, friends, and personal.
Matt Peale is not immune to bad habits. He hates getting up early to exercise like anyone else, even though he is an NASM Certified Personal Trainer. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org any time. Also Like his Facebook page and check out how Learn To Move Academy can help your school, sports team, and Active Aging process.