April 26, 2015 11:09 PM
Americans desperately need to exercise more—even if it’s just to walk to Chipotle
We are deep in a national crisis. We’re not sweating enough. We’re running away from sports. We’re fleeing from fitness.
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April 26, 2015 11:27 PM
I've been an aerobics class gal for years. The original cheap aerobic date, I did it all: kickboxing, step, circuit, line dancing, pilates, you name it. I still go to classes, but let me tell you, the workout world is no place for women around 55.Hot yoga is just redundant; when you are menopausal, it is all hot yoga. And the studio yoga world is just as ego-beating a place as the gym.Jazzercise, please come back to where I live. The little black dress of fitness was never needed more than it is now!
April 26, 2015 11:26 PM
I would expect it only to get worse though as kids today don't do anything, except for the two days a week scheduled sport that takes place for exactly 60 minutes and includes a snack.I saw a chart years ago that traced caloric consumption and activity levels for kids back to the 1950s. Caloric consumption is flat, kids are are consuming no more or less than they were in 1950. But the activity level has plummeted.Food isn't making our kids fat, sitting around and staring at screens is making our kids fat.
An hour of intense exercise burns about 600 calories plus some additional if weight lifting from repairing of the muscle. (small) 12 chips are 150 calories. Think about what your putting in the pie hole before exercising to lose weight. Exercising is about movement and strength for us old guys. Won't do much to help you lose weight. Won't hurt though! Keep you calorie intake at around 1700 a day if over 50. Glass of red wine 156 calories a bottle is about 625. Cut out the white flour, white sugar and dairy (80% hard to cut it all out) you're good to go. Lift weights for bone density
This is a national security issue. How many young Americans could pass a physical for military service? Probably not many. I believe that every day must include some physical activity, even if it is just walking the dog.
April 26, 2015 11:25 PM
28% sedentary means 72% are somewhat active. A look back beyond 2007 (?) would give the reader more context on the history of the average American's activity pattern. I am pretty sure my grandfather and great grandfather didn't put down their cigarettes long enough to hit the gym like we do today (or at all) and guess what... they were not overweight or battling diabetes. Obesity is at an all time high (despite 72% of people are somewhat active) and kids today may be the first to have a life expectancy shorter than their parents. Rather than insinuating that laziness is a new phenomena and another spin class is the solution, it would be interesting if you dug into the evolution of the American diet and write about the vicious cycle we are in. Traveling outside of the US I notice people who do not diet, exercise (often smoke) and do not battle weight issues like we do. If we feared sugar like we fear fat, most of our obesity problems would be solved.
April 26, 2015 11:24 PM
Wouldn't it be easier to buy stretchy pants?
April 26, 2015 11:23 PM
The lack of exercise and over/poor eating wouldn't be so bad if people doing it would die quickly, but they don't. Through their long feasting and laying about period they consume a huge amount of medical resources. In their final days as their hearts fail, diabetes sets in, musculoskeletal disorders like osteoarthritis, and some cancers (endometrial, breast and colon) occur the medical bills soar. It raises the cost of private and public insurance rates for all of us. In effect they are stealing from me and my family.ACA (BO-care) forces all of us to pay for the consequences of everyone's bad habits.The situation is a bit like smoking. I do not mind if others smoke. But I don't want to inhale the second hand smoke and I don't want to have my insurance rates going up because they smoke.
April 26, 2015 11:22 PM
I'm not exactly sure what Jason's point is, but I'll guess that he thinks we all should exercise and be healthier. But if he really cared and wasn't so lazy, he would look at diet, not physical activity as the real way to improve our overall health. (And the diet would be based on low-carbohydrate, high-fat foods.)Telling people they should do what they clearly don't want to do is old and boring.
April 26, 2015 11:21 PM
WOW. 28% - very, very, very sad.Sadly, I am pretty sure the 28% who need to receive this message won't.
April 26, 2015 11:20 PM
AYSO soccer is fantastic for kids. Everybody plays, emphasis on sportsmanship.
If you want to exercise on a regular basis, you have to be properly motivated or it won't work. My motivation came with a sport...racquetball in 1977. I stopped playing years ago, but the want for cardiovascular exercise stayed with me. I now do step aerobics twice a week. After a 10 minutes warm up, my heart rate is at 155 b.p.m. for 35 minutes. I don't do it to lose weight. I do it for the heart benefit and for the way it makes me feel. BP 140/65. Resting heart rate 58. Age 65.
Great column, very witty, still chuckling!
Look into The Whole Life Challenge.
April 26, 2015 11:19 PM
I work at a small company that employs several Italian expatriates in their 40s. The Italians are slim & trim, whereas the Americans' appearance can only charitably be described as "doughy" and "soft"
April 26, 2015 11:18 PM
"Declining time for gym class in school is seen as a factor. Another concern is that kids are becoming discouraged by the over competitiveness of youth sports (focus on travel teams, etc.) and fees to play for school teams.'Why, why, why must everything be so "organized" today? When I was a kid we just "self organized" and played. Basketball. Baseball. Football in an empty lot. We rode bicycles -- without helmets. We ran around the neighborhood unattended (that would probably have gotten my parents into a Dept. of Child Services mess today).
April 26, 2015 11:17 PM
I exercise regularly; my dear wife has a conflicted relationship with it. Our cat sits at the shining pinnacle of the "did not exercise in the last year" heap. Actually, my wife is not conflicted about swatting the lazy cat when she (cat) is getting hair on her (wife's) favorite furniture. If getting swatted counts, our cat gets an exercise espresso every now and then.Get a cat. As she/he eats your food, lies around, complains about life and generally telegraphs the superiority of her/his species over yours, you will remember what fat & arrogant looks like.It will help.
April 26, 2015 11:16 PM
Peachy! Something else to worry about. Yet another reason among so many, given countless times per day as to why we are going to hell in a hand basket. This whole thing stresses me out. I need a Twinkie.....
Walking to Chipotle isn't going to get it done. If you're going to eat at Chipotle, run 10 miles first.
April 26, 2015 11:15 PM
You have touched on our nations decision to fund excellence inhigh school competitive sports over general physical fitness for younger Americans.
April 26, 2015 11:14 PM
Okay, okay, I'll work out more. As long as you don't show any more pictures of John Travolta in short shorts. Some things you just can't unsee.
"Declining time for gym class in school is seen as a factor. Another concern is that kids are becoming discouraged by the overcompetitiveness of youth sports (focus on travel teams, etc.) and fees to play for school teams." Well, that is a relief. It's good to know that parents are not responsible to to provide their children with proper nutrition or guidance with regard to physical health. Imagine the burden that would be imposed if people were required to be parents after the birth of a child. This "problem" could easily be resolved if congress would create an additional refundable tax credit that could be used to pay for a nutritionist and personal trainer for every child. (Sarcasm)
April 26, 2015 11:13 PM
PE should be required of all students K-12, one hour per day minimum. How do public schools get away with ignoring the advice of the American Academy of Pediatricians?
April 26, 2015 11:12 PM
I agree that competitive sports for kids is way over the top and is in fact discouraging the vast majority of kids from participating thereby worsening the problem.. We should pull all sports out of schools and pit them in a private club system. We need to bring back physical education and lifestyle courses and teach our young people how to exercise, eat and compete/have fun in a much more low key environment. Unfortunately the real villain in this is the adults who set a terrible example, are over the top for competitive and dangerous sports (like football) and put their needs before our children. Like so many other problems we are not discussing this and of course the problem continues to get worse.
Good editorial observations. Let's go!!! readers.
April 26, 2015 11:11 PM
The real reason French women don't get fat is VANITY. They would be ASHAMED if they were fat.We don't allow shaming our country.We do allow for 46w x 28l pants at Banana Republic, however.
I have been on Weight Watchers for about nine months now, and it has revolutionized my general health, not to mention my weight. Changing our ideas about food; no, food isn't our god, to something more in tune with food being fuel primarily, is what Weight Watchers strives to do.But so much of our society is driven upon the pleasure of food, to the point of glutony. Being one of the few guys in my group, I see some interesting dynamics in play. But, central to losing weight is the idea of exercise. And not just three times a week for 20 minutes a day, but every day.I started at that 20 minutes of exercise a day, and now exercise 90 minutes a day, every day. I have lost over 60 lbs, and am set to lose more before I stop trying to lose weight, get smaller, and get healthier. I was diabetic, and am now, effectively, no longer diabetic. I am off all of my diabetic meds, under the supervision of my PCP, and have dropped to a weight lower than that which I had as a high school senior.
I'm really interested in history and notice in photos of earlier times how nice people looked. Almost everyone was pretty much a clothes-hanger, with clothing falling in graceful drapes and folds from a fitted and perhaps belted waistline, whether it be slacks on the males or skirts/dresses on the females. I think today's apparel makers have given up trying to "fit" a planet's worth of rotund shapes...so they churn out endless versions of stretchy garments that in essence are just giant variations of the knit t-shirt....and look just about as good (not). Am not thin myself...just lamenting the state of things.
Chipotle delivers? That is spectacular!
April 26, 2015 11:10 PM
It is very hard to take offense at any suggestion (even that of exercising more) when the author is making fun of himself as much as anybody else.