Champion Fitness Says Fighting Childhood Obesity Means “Walk the Walk!”

On May 7-9, The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Weight of the Nation Conference was held with an agenda that included ways communities, educators, health care providers, workplaces, and states themselves can be involved to improve the eating habits and increase the active living for all Americans, especially our young people.

Let’s hope they do something about these facts:

• Nearly one-third of our elementary schools do NOT schedule recess on a regular basis

• In grades 9 through 12 (high school), only about half of the students have one or more physical education classes during the week

• Almost one out of every four children do NOT participate in any free-time activity

That’s pitiful! Pathetic! Embarrassing! In the past thirty years, childhood obesity has tripled nationally. Here in Illinois, our youth  sits at 20.7%, one of the “fattest” states in the country. Just for good measure--- 25 percent of Illinois adults are obese and 37 percent overweight! We are spending one out of every ten health care dollars on obesity-related issues. It’s no time for talk; it’s time to “walk the walk."

Weight gain/loss is a pretty simple formula. Burn up more calories than you take in, and you will lose. Take in more than you burn up, and you will gain. So, no matter what the diet consists of, we still have to exert energy and exercise to get the proper health climate we desire. 

“Burning it up” is “walking the walk.” Especially for kids. 60 minutes of physical activity per day. A variety of activities should be offered to ensure they find something they enjoy. At least 30 minutes per day at school should be spent in moderate-to vigorous activity. Behind the desk work needs to be complimented with movement and exercise.

Only 16% walk or bike to school---what a great place to start! Most neighborhoods have parks with
all kinds of playground equipment available. Another winner! Got a hoop in your back yard? Make sure you have a ball to go with it. Other choices---wiffle ball, Frisbee, or pick-up baseball/softball games (NO parents allowed!). Even jogging or sand volleyball. Hop-skotch or jumping rope…anything to get out of the house and away from the computer screen. Especially with summer now here!

Time to Get Busy Living and take some action! Are you in?


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