170719 Grandchildren and exercise part 1 of 2

170719 Grandchildren and exercise part 1 of 2

When I was a child we walked up hill both ways to school, toiled in the fields until dark and then carried candles so we could see what we were doing out there…Yeah you bet that’s how I grew up. I did do my share of pitching hay bales in the hot and humid Michigan sun.

As our children grew up they were active, for hours at a time, in the woods around our home. But that was before the advent of the home computer and the rapidly expanding video game craze.

To this day, they are all active young adults. This is not necessarily the case with many of the younger generation though.

Are your grandkids active? If not, you may be the perfect person to get them started on an active lifestyle. They see you being active and doing things and want to do the same things. In some cases, these things may have to be modified to match their abilities. After all they are not young adults they are children.

Recent studies have clearly shown that our children aged, 12-21 years, are not getting enough physical exercise. The obesity rates continue to climb bringing with it increased risks of diabetes, cardiovascular and bone diseases, along with a wide assortment of associated medical problems in their future.

Regular physical activity brings with it greater strength, endurance and confidence in ones self. It helps build strong bones and better weight management along with reduces stress and anxiety. The social implications are manifested in life long friendships brought on by common goals and values that are developed through the fun and enjoyment of sports participation. You could be their work out partner.

Last but certainly not least is the skills that are developed during this active time of their lives.

As concerned grandparents, we need to consider providing places for safe play to take place. Notice I did not say more sports opportunities but simply places to run and play tag, jump and climb without fearing for their safety every second.

Since we are the adults in this equation, it is incumbent upon us to do something about this health problem. Lead by example; get off the couch, set the TV clicker aside and go outside for a walk. Take them along to your fitness group, if that is allowed. If not and there isn’t one start your own by asking a them to go for a walk or skip rope with you at a convenient time.

Guide to physical activity

Guide to physical activity

“Physical activity is an important part of your weight management program. Most weight loss occurs because of decreased calorie intake. Sustained physical activity is most helpful in the prevention of weight regain. In addition, exercise has a benefit of reducing risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, beyond that produced by weight reduction alone. Start exercising slowly and gradually increase the intensity. Trying too hard at first can lead to injury.

Examples of moderate-intensity amounts of physical activity:

Common Chores

  • Washing and waxing a car for 45–60 minutes
  • Washing windows or floors for 45–60 minutes
  • Gardening for 30–45 minutes
  • Wheeling self in wheelchair for 30–40 minutes
  • Pushing a stroller 1.5 miles in 30 minutes
  • Raking leaves for 30 minutes
  • Walking 2 miles in 30 minutes (15 min/mile)
  • Shoveling snow for 15 minutes be careful of this if you have heart disease or have not been active.
  • Stair walking for 15 minutes

Sporting Activities

Temper your activity commensurate with your current physical condition. If you have had artificial joint replacements, avoid high impact exercises as they may damage these joints.

  • Playing volleyball for 45–60 minutes
  • Playing touch football for 45 minutes
  • Walking 1.75 miles in 35 minutes (20 min/mile)
  • Basketball (shooting baskets) for 30 minutes
  • Bicycling 5 miles in 30 minutes
  • Dancing fast (social) for 30 minutes
  • Water aerobics for 30 minutes
  • Swimming laps for 20 minutes
  • Basketball (playing game) for 15–20 minutes
  • Bicycling 4 miles in 15 minutes
  • Jumping rope for 15 minutes
  • Running 1.5 miles in 15 minutes (10 min/mile)

Your exercise can be done all at one time, or intermittently throughout the day. Activities to get you started could include walking or swimming at a slow pace. You can start out by walking 30 minutes for 3 days a week and build to 45 minutes of more intense walking, at least 5 days a week. With this plan, you can burn 100 to 200 calories more per day. All adults should set a long-term goal to accumulate at least 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, and preferably all, days of the week. This regimen can be adapted to other forms of physical activity, but walking is particularly attractive because of its safety and accessibility. Also, try to increase “everyday” activity such as by taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Reducing sedentary time is a good strategy to increase activity by undertaking frequent, less strenuous activities. With time, you may be able to engage in more strenuous activities. Competitive sports, such as tennis and volleyball, can provide an enjoyable form of exercise for many, but care must be taken to avoid injury.”

Based on recommendations from the http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/lose_wt/phy_act.htm

030419 Adult exercise guidelines

030419 Adult exercise guidelines

Inactivity diminishes a person’s ability to lead a healthy productive life and living a long time doesn’t mean much if you aren’t able to enjoy it. Avoiding the sedentary lifestyle is easier than it may appear. Simply get moving.

You don’t have to be an elite world class athlete to reap the benefits of being healthy. As the saying goes, any amount of activity is better than none, but in my humble opinion, not much better.

Nonetheless doing at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity exercise will lead to substantial improvements in your health. Healthful results accrue by doing 75 minutes of higher intensity exercise such as strength training in the 80-100% of your one rep max or with aerobics keeping your heart rate within the 75-80 target heart rate (THR) range.