Most Americans are fairly active in their youth. Whether they like it or not, parents generally keep children busy with activities such as school, sports teams, gymnastics, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, hiking and camping, and many other activities. Kids are constantly on the go. Their eating habits are generally healthy and routine. Their metabolisms are at healthy levels. They get sufficient sleep, and stress levels are low. Although childhood obesity is at an all time high, most would agree that the structured life that most children lead is a healthy one. When Americans reflect on their youth, whether it be by talking with friends about “how good we used to look”, or by looking at old pictures and wondering what happened to those six-pack abs. What changed? What happened to my metabolism? What happened to all the fun we used to have? Why is it so hard for me to live a healthy, active life?
We all know that as you get older, your life changes. You work. You have children of your own. Your level of responsibility increases and others now depend on you. You begin to give everything you have to your job, your spouse, and your children. This is a natural progression in life, but over time, you slowly and consistently neglect yourself. Instead of going to play hoops with the guys, you are going to watch your daughter’s soccer game. Instead of going to the gym on Saturday morning, you are cooking breakfast for your son and his sleepover buddies. You are exhausted from the long work week. Three times last week you ate fast food because you were at the office late. You are a good provider.You take care of your children, but ignore the fact that you are not providing for yourself.
Most communities have adult sport leagues. Softball, volleyball, dodge ball, pickle ball and basketball leagues are open to the public. These are great forms of aerobic exercise, and often take only an hour or two out of your busy week. Sunday morning basketball is a fun, calorie burning activity that can increase your cardiovascular health, metabolism, and provide stress relief from the everyday grind you have been battling for years. The benefits are fantastic.You stretch before you play. You socialize with others in the community. You burn approximately 400 calories and run over 2 miles. More importantly, you have fun. You may not get back those six-pack abs. You will not find the fountain of youth. This is an easy step to help you alter an otherwise unhealthy lifestyle. Contact your local community center to find a sports league that may interest you. This is a wonderful idea for couples as well!