One of the worst heritages we are passing down to our children is a sedentary lifestyle. Many physicians are calling SEDENTARY DEATH SYNDROME the leading cause of death in America–and avoidable medical costs resulting from Americans’ sedentary habits are bankrupting America.
Ironically, many of the most out-of-shape people work the hardest and longest hours. Their strong work ethic causes them to view exercise as something for the leisure class. But the irony is that working extended sedentary hours consumes more resources than it generates because people who don’t exercise become debilitated and unable to work 20 years earlier than those that do. Our ancestors generally didn’t have so many health problems because they engaged in vigorous physical activity for at least one hour a day. They didn’t have all these labor saving devices.
Back in the olden days when people worked so hard physically, it was okay that their leisure activities were sedentary. Today, just look around. Our work is generally sedentary, so it is essential that our leisure activities be physically vigorous–or else we will have what we have right now. So scheduling sedentary leisure activities for ourselves in the evenings and weekends after a week of sedentary work is like putting butter on your lard. Let’s stop sentencing ourselves and our children to an early death.
Let’s do something STARTING NOW. Resolve not to watch another moment of television unless you are on the floor alternating between situps, pushups, and other exercises. Let’s put treadmills in the cinemas. Let’s make resolutions to go for family walks rather than sit in front of the TV. Why read a book when you could listen to one for an hour every day and get in 5 miles of walking or 10 miles of jogging? Have you ever met a fat person who has been jogging 10 or more miles a day for any length of time. Excess fat cannot endure such exercise and it disappears.
Poor exercise habits are almost always a choice and not something people can’t do anything about, so let’s stop dancing around this issue for fear that someone might take offense. Like every other habit, bad habits are infectious, so without active counter measures bad habits frequently spread. Although it is good to worry about not hurting out-of-shape people’s feelings–obviously brushing this issue under the rug is not working for our kids. We need a serious propaganda campaign to demonize bad habits if we are to not lose those we care about to an early, unnecessary death.
Bad habits, including and especially overscheduling sedentary activities, are the numer one killer in America. In short, if you are home now and have spent a whole day sitting, stop reading this blog and go for a jog and listen to a book on tape instead. Come back when you are pleasantly sore and resume your reading. And, if you want to help create a culture that empowers healthy habits, please share this cartoon with your friends on facebook or through email.