Ah to be young again. When I was a kid I played all kinds of sports. Baseball was my favorite, but my friends and I even tried full contact football at one time. We coerced a factory into buying us uniforms, but we didn’t have enough money to buy the pads. After one game of getting tackled onto the hard frozen ground we gave up that pursuit.
I remember playing basketball at a neighborhood church and running up and down the court so hard that I had dark circles under my eyes by the time I was through. Then when I got in my twenties and thirties it was tennis and racquetball. When I started playing racquetball three times a week on a league, I lost thirty pounds and was probably in the best shape of my life.
Then came my forties and I started slowing down. Now that I’m in my fifties, (no, the new fifties is not like the old forties), I hardly ever exercise except for the occasional walk. And it seems that I am not alone. According to Medical News Today: “Only 5.07% of Americans say they engage in vigorous physical activity on any given 24-hour period, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. “
We seem to be a nation of pretty lazy people. Some of the respondents listed preparing meals as a form of moderate physical activity. The survey only asked about non-work related activity, but I’m sure some respondents said that their most strenuous form of physical activity was at work. As a matter of fact, some work so hard that is the reason they don’t exercise. They are too tired when they get home. That used to be the excuse for me anyway.
95.6% of all adults surveyed engage in sedentary activities. Some 80% said that they watch television or movies at home, which is also classified as a sedentary activity. 25% listed their moderate activity as preparing food and 10% said that their moderate activity was working the garden or taking care of their house plants. The only strenuous activities listed were working out at the gym using cardio equipment and running, 2 and 1 percent respectively.
So with all of the hype about physical fitness, it seems that we rarely do it on a daily basis. As for the kids, most of them sit around all day and play video games instead of going out and playing sports. That’s probably why we have so many kids that are overweight and have diabetes type 2, a condition unheard of in children 20-years-ago.
For all of us out of shape adults who have children, maybe we should spend some quality time with them and play a game of ball a few times a week. Or take them to play racquetball, that’ll burn the calories off. It might help you lose weight and get in shape as well.