From The Couch to the Grave

Anyone have a good couch for sale? It seems that our number one activity in Canada other than eating too much is sitting on our couches, and if I’m going to join the status quo I want to put my butt on a primo piece of furniture, preferably one of those king size lazy boys. Yes sir re, that’s the ticket.

In all seriousness this is one activity that will only lead us to one thing, an earlier trip to see the reaper.

Recently a report was released on the amount of exercise that Canadians were getting, or should I say lacking. The report was supposed to be an early wakeup call, or to be honest, more like a big ol’ mallet to the head.

As the researchers stated, we are a nation that shuns physical activity, a nation of slugs. Hold it now, everyone I know has a Nintendo Wii, doesn’t that count? I guess you still need to get up off the couch don’t ya.

Now before I talk about how bad things really are, you better sit down and take a load off, or better yet stand up and do a few jumping jacks.

Here it goes…

Appalling statistic number 1…

Just 15 percent of adults and 7 percent of children and teens get the minimum amount of exercise needed to benefit there health.

Appalling statistic number 2…

Adults are sedentary 9.5 waking hours, while 6 to 19 year olds are sedentary 8.6 waking hours.

Appalling statistic number 3…

Only 53 percent of adults accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity one or more days a week.

Here’s something even scarier…

Only 29 percent of boys and 21 percent of girls get 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity at least 6 days per week, and 83 percent of boys and 73 percent of girls get 30 minutes at least 3 days per week.

Appalling statistic number 4…

In Nova Scotia the vast majority of children in grade 3 meet targets for physical activity, but that percentage drops off exponentially in grade 7 and even further by grade 11.

Appalling statistic number 5…

The percentage of Nova Scotia girls in grade 11 who were getting at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity at least 5 days per week dropped to 0.3 percent in 2005 from 6.9 percent in 2001.

Now as appalling as these statistics are, what will it take to move us from a society headed for a world of hurt to one of health and happiness?

For starters we need to find a balance, with ourselves and with the world around us, we need a paradigm shift.

Instead of always looking for convenience, instant pleasure and the easy way out we need to be more responsible to ourselves.

We only have one body, a finite amount of time and very few chances to get it right.

As the old saying goes “Move it or lose it”.

Well in this case, It couldn’t be more true.

By: Master Tim Bell

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