"The burden of not trying is heavier than the barbell will ever be," is a saying etched in large chalk letters at a CrossFit in Ohio. For each of us individually, the emotional and physical burden of an unhealthy lifestyle can be a lifelong struggle that eventually leads to feelings of unhappiness and chronic health conditions. In the United States, physical inactivity has become a huge health crisis, equated to our generations version of smoking. The social norm of not moving has become so commonplace that currently only 55% of adults get the physical activity they need to be healthy and it is estimated that by 2030, 83.4 million Americans may suffer from three or more chronic diseases and 50% of the population could be affected by obesity (ACE, 2018).
There are strong correlations between chronic disease and obesity, and both of these epidemics can be traced back to one basic human action: physical activity. Currently, the childhood obesity rate for ages 2-5 is 8.9%, which you thin would be fine, right? I mean there is such a thing as baby fat. However, when we see this percentage grow to 20.5% by the time kids are 12-19, we can no longer blame it on normal baby fat, but must admit something else must be trending. (ACE, 2018)
To give you a little more perspective on our current health crisis in the U.S., have a look at the following statistics, all referenced at the end of the article.
Step Up Washington
An Act that is not getting enough attention at the moment is the PHIT Act, which would make physical activity opportunities like personal training, sports league fees, and group fitness classes, more affordable. For example, your gym membership or your child's sports team fee would be paid for, at least in part, by the government. Not only does this make an impact at an individual level, this would immensely help with non-profits like Healthy Futures, Fitness Without Borders, and others requiring government grant funding and fundraising to offer their services (Fritz, 2018).
Introduced in March of 2017, this bill currently has a meager 3% chance of getting enacted (H.R. 1267, 2017). Why is not important to lawmakers? I miss Michelle (Obama). If you find this issue to be relevant and something you would like to advocate for, follow this link to PHIT America's website to learn more about the movement and ways you can help.
So, if you have stumbled on this article because you've found yourself in the 45% category, then you are in the right place. You are obviously not alone in your struggle, and I am here to remind you that you can do anything if you are willing and open to change and commitment to something that will be harder than the convenience of swinging through the drive thru on the way home.
Here are some stories on incredible people who have undergone amazing change in order to reclaim their health and lives. Also, please explore the site, there are countless tools and resources on here that can help you along the way.
Cabarles, M. (2018, May 1). How ACE Influences the Cycle of Inactivity. ACE Fitness Journal, 15(5), 6-7.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How much physical activity do children need? https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/children/index.htm. Accessed 4-21-2017.
H.R. 1267: PHIT Act. (2017, March 1). Retrieved May 9, 2018, from https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr1267/text/ih
Fritz, J. (2018). Learn About Revenue Streams for Nonprofits and How They Get Income. Retrieved from https://www.thebalancesmb.com/where-do-nonprofits-get-their-revenue-2502011
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