Gina Miller's picture

This is not another healthy tip blog post about taking the stairs instead of the elevator, counting every calorie, and parking at the last spot at the shopping center. Yes, these are great tips but are only really effective if your galloping down the stairs and running up 2 steps at a time, cutting calories from 4,500 to 2,000, or have a job that involves visiting retail stores all day long.  

Learn To Push Yourself

We need to re-learn how to push ourselves again and more importantly we need to teach our kids how to push even if we as parents have forgotten how. We don’t want our children to struggle with weight issues for the rest of their lives, and encouraging activity early can help.

Think about what has led you to becoming less active. Watching a toddler, you quickly realize that humans are hardwired to move. It’s a survival instinct that’s lost as we grow older. By examining how we as parents became less active, we can help prevent those behaviors in our children. A recent statistic said 80% of overweight youth with at least 1 overweight parent will become an overweight adult. Set the example for your children by learning to push yourself physically.

Burn More Calories Than You Consume

The health tip that must be learned is that it takes 3,500 calories to gain or burn 1 pound.  If you burn more calories than you consume you lose weight. Lets examine taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.  

Does your heart rate raise above a resting state WALKING up stairs? If your heart rate isn't working at an accelerated rate for longer than 30 minutes then that activity isn't really giving you a health benefit or burning any additional calories.  It reminds me of the biggest loser escalator challenge. The contestants had to walk up a down moving escalator and by the end of the challenge the contestants were spent.  That’s how you lose weight, not by walking up steps 4 times a day. This type of advice is a non-confrontational approach to finding a solution to the obesity epidemic. Educators and health professionals have to be able to tell people that they are overweight or obese and need to lose weight.

Know The Meaning of Small Meals

Having many small meals throughout the day is great in theory but what if you don't know what 5 “small meals” looks like. If you're eating several meals throughout the day but don't have an understanding of how many calories you're taking in this can actually backfire. First look up how many calories you need based on your age, height, weight, and activity levels. Myfitnesspal has a great website and mobile app that calculates and tracks your calories in and out and does the math for you.  Next, buy a cheap food scale so you better understand food proportions. With this added knowledge you be able to hit your eating goals.

Participation In Sports

The answer to our country's obesity isn't going to come from large scale engagement in fitness, it's going to come from increasing youth and adult participation in recreational sports. We need to teach our youth sports skills so they are confident in creating their own physical activities and large scale participation in youth sports leagues once again becomes the norm. The point is this. We can't keep putting bandaids on something that is broken and we can’t think that everyone needs to start “working out.” Let’s help parents replace “Do you want to watch a show” with  “go outside and play.”