HEALTHY SCHOOL LUNCH SUPPORT YANKED

HEALTHY SCHOOL LUNCH SUPPORT YANKED

Here’s a question – why in the name of serving the public good would politicians bandwagon opposition to a SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN SUCCESSFUL initiative that aids the well-being of kids?

Regardless of the side of the aisle in which you align, the well-being of our kids SEEMS to be a fundamental decision making metric since ‘making the world a better place for our kids’ is consistently messaged.

Really?! I guess for some this is just baseless rhetoric since as push has come to shove, a push that WORKS was shoved, rather shelved for reasons that scream ‘that’s politics.’

If you are not up to speed, certain politicians have recently pushed back against the initiative to improve school lunch nutrition as intervention to childhood obesity citing allegiance with school personnel who say they are losing money because the kids don’t like the ‘good’ food, thus don’t take it. And this on the heels of recent data showing that the condition has improved in hard hit New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia due to umbrella intervention that intentionally improved school-based nutrition.

Perception being reality, the push back is shameful for bundling the kids as scapegoats with twisted empathy. ‘Our bad for subjecting you to those icky vegetables—What were we thinking?—here is all that saturated fat and sodium back.’ Of course, the push back explanation is thinly veiled to begin with since food industry lobbyists are no doubt tightening the vice to protect established subsidies, etc., but I digress.

The real damage comes from the message that underlies caving to the kids’ claims of ‘it’s yucky.’ For the vast majority of us, the first encounter with say okra or eggplant was a challenge, but over time we developed a welcoming palate. The message here is ‘They won’t ever develop the capacity to make healthy nutrition choices so we may as well stop trying now.’

Doesn’t that just ooze with hope for this generation’s kids?! Not to mention, the schools exemplified in the push back rationale are mainly urban, mainly minority — the same demographic already disparately affected by obesity.

Airing overdramatic video of kids ceremoniously dumping their uneaten ‘good’ but ‘icky’ food into school cafeteria trash bins is both exaggerated and deceitful (btw, to make these clips seem more authentic, next time have the kids rehearse less). Compelling evidence shows that given the chance, kids WILL make and sustain lifestyle changes that include eating healthy food, which in the scheme of things, exemplifies an underlying pillar of the political party that yanked support for the initiative. Self-management, meaning less government oversight on our lifestyle, is among the main tenets of this party’s platform.

Like onions that have many smelly layers, this push back gets smellier the deeper the dig. Circling back to serving the greater good, so much for the world you have just degraded for literally millions of kids. Using their vernacular, giving up on them really sucks!

‘BATHING SUIT SEASON’ – RECLAIM THE EXCITEMENT

Yep, its here. We have hit Memorial Day, which means – the 2014 Bathing Suit Season has officially begun.

Remember as a kid how exciting it was to put your bathing suit on? Mostly, because it meant fun activities were to follow. Swimming, of course, but also running through the sprinkler, slip-n-sliding, playing on a beach, going boating…

Then something changed. Over time, the excitement about what you were about to do turned into anxiety about how you looked. Yikes!

Well, there is no better time than today to reclaim its excitement. Bring on bathing suit season but as it was when you were a kid. Make peace with the enemy, by actually using it for what it’s meant for. You still have to wait an hour after you eat before swimming…

REPURPOSE YOUR COOL DOWN

Recent research suggests a post-exercise cool down has scant effect on preventing muscle soreness. The take away message — don’t bother cooling down — is outrageous if not sacrilegious to many of us, after all, common sense correctly tells us to not end exercise abruptly. But of the take away to this emerging science, lets peel a layer or two since its premise is faulty for being shallow.

For one, the (temporary) soreness that can accompany exercise ought to be welcomed since micro tears to muscles that actually catalyze tissue strengthening induce it. Net/net, embrace soreness for the muscular gain it is signaling!

Further, a cool down offers benefit that transcends physiological consideration. A few minutes of walking after cardio or weights gets the attention of your motivation by recognizing the achievement of completing your workout, or relishing any personal benchmarks or the satisfaction of having done a new activity.

Considering exercise’s unique and profound impact on our wellbeing, each completed workout bears celebration as a stand-alone, and for how celebration sustains our motivation to do the same tomorrow, and many tomorrows after.

Repurpose your cool down by using it to bask in your achievement, and then welcome the soreness that’s about to make your quads sing.

FRIDAY FOOTPRINT FLASH – THE HEART OF THE MATTER

FOR your heart, running is the same as walking is the same as cycling is the same as basketball, is the same as…a gazillion other forms of activity.

IN your heart, different forms of activity are rank ordered according to what feeds your physical activity soul.

In a perfect world, your engagement in FOR is a neat and tidy expression of IN. A romanticist might dreamingly say it’s a natural force that draws our energy toward a particular activity form… But a humanist—the kind with two kids, a dog, and a demanding job—might say riiiight, meaning wrong, for IN is ultimately where the realities of time and place intersect, meaning yours is 5pm spin, or 7pm yoga, or 6am boot camp, or your mapped out 5-mile run.

Considering slammed schedules leaving few slivers open to exercise and the gym opportunistic for how it offers hourly programming, the ‘chosen’ form of engagement is the class scheduled during the sliver you can attend. Net/net, your exercise expression is more defined by the gym’s fitness class scheduler than impelled by intuitive force, so until the kids are grown, or the job settles (ha!) you may have to sacrifice the IN for the just-get-it-done of the FOR.

Ahh, so be it. Consistently doing the FOR will ensure that when you get to do the IN it will, I dare say, be to your heart’s content.

FRIDAY FOOTPRINT FLASH – It’s the simple things

Headline: Obesity rates are lower for cities in which more residents walk or bike to work than cities whose residents use less active transport.

While this is no surprise to anyone hip to obesity’s relationship with exercise (but the more correlation-strengthening data the merrier), it reinforces the notion that physical activity-preventing obesity doesn’t have to be fancy — or require a gym membership or special machines or special clothes/equipment (less a bike of course)…

Not to say that active transport is without challenge—safe routes, change of clothes, the elements, etc—and it may simply be impractical in certain situations, but as evidenced by the data, it seems the challenges can be overcome.

Active transport aids to combat obesity, but its big picture benefit is even more significant. Since healthy behavior begets healthy behavior, walking to work can catalyze a string of additional health-enhancing lifestyle modifications. The important take away is each step you take to, literally, walk to work entices other health-enhancing steps to follow.

KEEP THAT ‘MO

Momentum – a hard concept to throw a net around, yet understandable at the same time. A sudden spark, and you are a step faster, a shade brighter, a notch more focused. Energy comes from a different dimension—moving is effortless—time stands still yet passes quickly. Most important, you just KNOW the shot is going to go in, you are going to make the catch, or your workout is going to be awesome…

Yea, it’s great until it isn’t, until the gremlins invade and turn that step faster into sluggishness and steely focus into haze. Where is the ‘mo then, huh!

Being human means we come with a multi-pack of emotions and some modulation along the ‘mo spectrum is…only human. But when it comes to activity engagement it doesn’t have to mean the wild swings of polarity we sometimes experience because using Iron Footprint we access THE very thing it feeds on – achievement.

Kind of like a movement-sensor light that is never really off, tracking your achievement streams a steady pulse of energy to your ‘mo source. That means as well as knowing how to switch it on, you can also be assured it’s never turned off. Happy tracking