Fitness for Father’s Day

The author and her dad

Happy Father’s Day to all you Dads.  Being a Dad is an awesome and sometimes frightening responsibility.  You have younger human beings counting on you for food, shelter, love, support and guidance.  Being your best as a dad requires a certain level of fitness. Make a committment today to be fit and healthy for your family.

My dad was a smoker who quit after my sister cut up his cigarettes one night while she cried, “I don’t want you to die daddy, I don’t want you to die!” That was his moment to commit to a healthier lifesyle.  He’s 79 now.  He has survived open heart surgery and colon cancer.  He still goes hunting every Fall and Spring and hikes up and down the mountains of Central PA.  I have no doubt that he would have died long ago, had he not made that commitment that night with my sister crying hysterically at the kitchen table .

So dads, do whatever it takes and give yourself the gift of fitness.  Start today and keep with it daily.  Quit smoking, start walking, join a gym or get a good at-home fitness program.  Be a good role model in this age of obesity and stick around for lots of good times with the family you love!

My Plate.gov is Full

My pyramid is gone and Michele Obama has ushered in my plate. It’s a simpler way to keep track of of your nutrition at each meal. It’s still color coded and it still says basically the same thing. It’s just repackaged. I think this version will be a lot easier to use and the visual may help with America’s portion distortion. When I took a look at it (myplate.gov) it seamed like all the blocks were pretty much the same size. The vegetable and grain plate wedges were a little larger than the protein and fruit plate wedges. The dairy is smaller and in the shape of a glass to the side of the plate. Note that half of your meal should be made up of fruits and vegetables.  Fats, oils and sweets are not part of the plate.  This means they should be used sparingly. Vegetables loaded up with butter and sauces are missing the point.  So are fruits covered in sugar and syrup.  Half of grains should be whole grains.  The white stuff alone won’t cut it.  Filling half your plate with french fried and ketchup and calling it veggies, well, you’re just fooling yourself.

The moral of the story is use the plate as a reference along with your common sense and it should help you to eat a more nutritios, more balanced meal.  Now who is going to make a million dollars manufacturing kid’s “My Plates” to sell to the public??

Fast Food and Fitness

My daughter had an interview at a fast food restaurant. The interviewer pointed out the store manager and regional manager during the process. Both were (if I were guessing) obese. I wondered if the company attracted overweight employees, or if employees became overweight while they worked for the company. The perverbial chicken (nugget) or the egg (breakfast sandwich). It started me thinking that these fast food establishments are missing a golden opportunity. Why not offer employees and managers a wellness/fitness program through the company? There would be numerous benefits, but the one that comes to my mind first is that it would be awesome advertising. What if you walked into your local fast food place and all the people behind the counter were fit and healthy looking? Wouldn’t that make you less afraid to eat more of the product? What if they could point you to the healthiest food choices because they were making those choices themselves? Maybe the big fast food restaurants should start thinking seriously about some quality wellness programs for their workers. It would be great advertising.

Childhood Obesity

I am a teacher and it is contract time.  Lately it’s been stressful.  The federal government is not required to balance its budget and has accumulated an enourmous deficit.  State governments and local school districts are required to balance budgets. States are tightening their belts and education is on the chopping block this year.

Last week our school district voted to cut all specials from the elementary school in order to lessen an 8 million dollar budget deficit.  “Specials” include Art, Music and Physical Education.

Art and Music are bad enough, but Physical Education in an era when childhood obesity is a problem we hear about almost daily in the news?  When the percentage of overweight adults stands at 65% and the obesity rate for children stands at 25%?  When study after study shows that students who participate PE on a regular basis score higher on the standardized tests that the federal government requires for No Child Left Behind?  Really?

It’s hard enough  to beat back the media messages of junk food and sedentary entertainment.  If we don’t have the 30 minutes, twice a week to counteract those messages, how will we ever ingrain the love of a healthy lifestyle into our younger generation?

That’s why this website has become even more important to me than ever before.  This is where I will continue to get the message of exercise, fitness and nutrition to you through great information and exercise and nutrition programs that I believe in.  YOU can make a healthy lifestyle a priority for you and your family even if the government does not.

What are your thoughts on cuts to physical education in public schools around the country?