We All Have Excuses

January 27th, 2011 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

Adults aren’t the only ones who have excuses for avoid exercise.  The following are the top five perceived barriers to physical activity in overweight and obese children.  Yes, CHILDREN. 

Do any of these sound familiar to you?

  1. Too much homework and not enough time for physical activity.
  2. Self-conscious about looks and body when doing physical activity.
  3. Don’t have anyone with whom to exercise.
  4. Feel too overweight to do physical activity.
  5. Chosen last for teams.

This is killing me; a kid has too much homework that they can’t get outside for a half hour and throw a ball or ride a bike?  Yikes.

The thing that really gets me is this: if you are too busy to take care of yourself by eating well and exercising when you are still growing… what kind of life do you think you’ll have when you’re older?  I expect (and current medical science agrees with me) that you’ll be spending all that time later in doctors’ offices and in hospitals.

Clearly I am not writing to the kids right now: I want to address parents and aunts and uncles and friends and teachers and church members who know these kids.  Maybe this isn’t the time to sit back for fear of offending someone (who is most likely just not sure what to do).

Maybe now is the time to do something.

Invite the kid to play catch in the yard, or to play Wii fit in the living room (no couches please).  Maybe this is the year they get the chore of mowing the grass or raking leaves.  Maybe this year the whole family goes skiing together instead of heading to the double feature.  Maybe this is the year you all join a gym and take a class on weight lifting or other group fitness.

Maybe this year their bike takes them to and from school instead of a car.  Maybe you put up a full-length mirror on the back of the bathroom door. 

You can certainly start by re-considering a “good” parking space to be one furthest from the entrance instead of closest.

The above excuses to avoid exercising and eating better to maintain a healthy weight are very simply off the mark.  Sure, it’s easy to excuse ourselves out of exercise.  But the payment for those excuses is often charged too late—when the physical damage is already done and arteries are hardening and insulin isn’t working as it should. 

The end goal is to live a healthy and vibrant life—not one that involves cholesterol medication before the age of twelve. 

I challenge you now: what are you going to do to help out a kid you know?

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