Sunday, September 5, 2010

September Declared: Childhood Obestiy Awareness Month

First, let me start by saying I'm not getting into a political debate with anyone. You have your views, I have mine. However, no matter what political stand you take childhood obesity should be a concern for all.

Being a fitness/health guru myself, it makes my heart smile more than anyone knows to see the First Lady advocate for childhood obesity. I have always had a fascination with helping children fight obesity and understand it is a nasty lifestyle. Children are creatures that do by example, we all know that. It's not only important for adults and the elders to get out and be active, but it's also vital that children are too. It's shameful to know that America is one of the top obese countries in the world. Why? Because people admire "convenience" and being "cheap". We teach our children that it is okay to order fast food, play video games, and not break a sweat daily. Why? It takes 30-60 minutes a day to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Go for a walk with your children or dog. Play in the park. Just move.

Read the Presidential Proclamation- Nation Childhood Obesity Month.

I think everyone should encourage others to get moving. It's the least anyone could do. Encourage your close family and friends to go on a walk after work, during lunch, or in the mornings. Find a buddy or a group and do some type of exercise with. Remember exercise can be any activity that gets you moving, ie running, walking, soccer, throwing a ball, skipping, riding a bike, dancing, or whatever tickles your fancy.

Another way to get children, people in general, moving is to volunteer for some type of after school activity. If you're a parent, round the kids up after school and let them run around and play outside before dinner (well, after they finish their homework of course). Be creative and do your part to make this a healthy country. Adding exercise in your routine can be as easy was watching tv... Think about it. Childhood obesity is a bigger problem than most people want to admit. No one is "comfortable" being overweight or obese, even if they say they are. Being healthy is comfortable. Corny, I know. Make your heart happy and move!

Training Exercise: Chest Fly. This is great exercise to help define your pec (chest) muscles and some of your shoulders. Having a strong chest will create more power and strength in lifting activities and can play a role with breathing due to a decrease in fatty areas around essential organs, ie the diaphragm. Plus, it gives you a great beach bod, men and women :-). Remember there are always progressions to each exercises to challenge your strength and endurance.

Basic Chest Fly:
  • First, find the appropriate weight to lift. If you don't know how much you can lift, think of how much you can bench press and choose weight somewhere around that number. Remember it will be less, maybe significantly less, because you will be lifting a weight in each arm opposed to use the power in both arms together to lift the weight.
  • Lay flat on bench.
  • Grab each dumbbell/ weight in each hand.
  • Position arms out with elbows 90 degrees and shoulders fully extended. Elbows should be up and shoulders should not be "sagging down". Palms should be facing forward.
  • Bring the weight up over your chest, fully extending your arms. The motion is like forming a triangle from the starting position. Do not tap the weights at the top.
  • Return to the starting position. Remember to keep elbows up and do not let the shoulders drop. If the shoulders and elbows begin to drop it could be an indication the weight is too heavy or poor form. You may need to drop in weight to help correct proper form.
Training Tip: Check your shoelaces before hitting the pavement. Don't tie them too tie or too loose. If you tie them too tight you can end up with a throbbing foot (raising my hand), or if they are too lose you will be lacking some ankle stability thus resulting in injury. Make sure you don't feel too much pressure on your foot while walking to start your run. If you feel any nagging pain just loosen them a tad bit. I know this sounds like common sense, but, you know, it happens to the best of us. This isn't the first time I've done it! Sometimes it's too early in the morning, or I am just anxious to get out there to run, and I get ready so quick I don't realize how tight I tied my shoes until half way through the run. At that point, stop and loosen them. Don't be a hard head like me and keep going. You will pay for it, trust me. I am still hurting after 5 days. I compressed the top of my foot to the point where it now hurts to flex my toes and a lingering pain each time my foot hits the pavement. Moral of the story, make sure you feel comfortable before starting your workout. If you at any point feel any discomfort just stop and adjust.

Training Songs: I've received some good suggestions for songs (thanks Ross) this week... and added some oldies! Enjoy!

1. Letting Go- Sean Kingston ft. Nicki Minaj
2. Hot Tottie- Usher ft. Jay Z and Ester Dean
3. Hot In Here- Nelly
4. Just a Dream- Nelly
5. You Don't Know Me- Ben Folds

Training Lagniappe: Flip Burger is opening up in Buckhead coming Fall 2010!! Bye bye Howell Mill, Hello Piedmont! Flip has amazing burgers and some of the BEST milkshakes ever! Being a foodie, this makes my heart smile! I like to believe Flip will help me prep for those long runs I have coming up! Burgers and milkshakes are packed with carbs, right? ;-) Seriously, go to Flip if you never have!.... After typing this, I realized what my topic was for this week. I'm not suggesting eating out is part of a healthy lifestyle! Just try Flip and enjoy it once in your life. :-)

Happy Running,
Jayme Bergeron, BS
ACSM Health Fitness Specialist

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