What Kids, and Adults, Really Need….
I hear very often that kiddos today are lazy, don’t play outside as much as they should, and don’t have the same level of commitment to hard work as adults of the past. I find this conversation as annoying as the gentleman in purple above.
If any adult making those claims grew up in todays day and age they’d act the same way.
If there is one thing I know about kiddos, heck, humans in general, regardless of the image we want to portray on social media, we all crave the path of least resistance.
Furthermore, without understanding that hard work, challenge, and failure lead to growth, kids, and adults, will not pursue activities that are perceived as hard.
I know, I can see your eyes rolling. Not you, you’re different. Out of the womb you’ve been pursuing challenges and have had an ingrained and sadistic attraction to failure.
Not me. I like things easy, do what I am good at, and without a touch of success paired with the right incentive am hard to budge.
In general I believe most folks need to have a real conversation about sedentary behavior. Also, kiddos need to see adults not only training hard but living movement rich lives.
Furthermore, folks have to understand the pitfall of leading a sedentary lifestyle. Time and time again, when I interact with the kiddos in my PE classes and the adults I train personally, the message is that being sedentary will lead to a slow and torturous demise. If that sounds gruesome its meant to. I have watched all of my grandparents pass along early do to complications with diabetes and heart disease, each in their 60’s.
In the end, each case was not only gruesome, but a burden on the family.
Looking back at my grandparents situations, each could have bought a lot of extra time being more proactive about being active.
I’d like to think with a little more education about the down side of being sedentary in their face they may have opted to park further away, take the steps, and pursue leisure activities that promoted movement. Instead, my grandparents elected to do what most kids do today, nothing.
As I remember my grandparent I see them sitting in their chairs, watching TV.
How is that different than a kiddo on a tablet, or mom and dad hunched over their phone?
This brings me to the point, sorry I didn’t get there as quickly as I could have, its hard typing from a soap box.
Many of the issues associated with diabetes, obesity, and heart disease can be headed off if kiddos and adults simply move more.
And, I am not talking about training. If folks, kiddos included, are lucky they may have 5-10 hours dedicated a week to training. For kids this is baseball practice, gymnastics, and physical education in schools. For adults, this may be an adult softball league, yoga class, or hitting the Gym,
The time in these “TRAINING” environments is important and should be very focused and intense.
However, do the math. At best most kiddos and adults this day and age may have 10 hours dedicated to training for something and I believe that is a generous number.
What about the other 158 hours in the week?
During that time folks, kids included, need to fixated on opportunities to simply be active. I have mentioned a few of those opportunities already: parking further away and electing to take the stairs over the elevator. For a family that may mean electing to spend 30 minutes winding down before bedtime playing outside, rather than watching cartoons.
I would even suggest a more passive route and simply elect to replace as much sitting as possible with as much standing as possible. Simply put kiddos and adults need to get off their ass and simply be on their feet more.
Folks bark bark bark at the simplicity of the intervention but facts are facts. Here is a quick reference from the folks at StandUP Kids that breaks down the calories you burn sitting vs standing vs walking.
Here is another video put together by my former podcast co host Danny Matta. Of all the lessons I learned doing the Doc and Jock Podcast this was the greatest. This caloric break down of standing vs sitting, shows that the current dilemma we are facing as a society regarding chronic disease is a lifestyle issue, not a training issue.
So, to close this little rant out where it began…
What do kids and adults really need?
More time on their feet.
To me its that simple. No pill, No coach, Nothing special will work or take hold until a person begins to prioritize movement in general.
Start with standing more.
Elect to walk the length of the parking lot.
Take the stairs.
Hell, if your really crazy maybe you can give a teacher friend the push they need to convert their classroom to a standing desk classroom.
We often look for the lesson in the hard. Hell, I gloried it myself above. Truthfully, the hard is very necessary. That said, our ceiling for appreciating the hard can be raised by committing to simply not taking things so easy.