Monday, January 30, 2012

Caring About Our Young Parents

I was working out in the gym (the student rec center) this morning while two young men (age 19-21) were talking.  Actually, one was just listening as the other went on for quite a while.  I believe that he was talking about his aunt, who he said was not even 50 yet (gasp).  Whoever she was, the young man was concerned about her weight - what she was eating and her lack of physical activity.
It was not his Mom because later I heard him say that his mother had four or five siblings and she was the small one.  I think he said that she weighed about 110 pounds and he could toss her "over his shoulder."  
He was about 6 foot or taller and muscular.  He also spoke with an accent, possibly eastern European.  I have worked out at the same time as he several times.
The young man was concerned that this person ate the wrong things or too many calories because I heard him say something about her eating a lot of bread and that if she just changed that it would make a big difference.  I also heard him tell his friend that he encourages this person to do more physical activity.  When there is some place to go, he tries to get her to walk.  Since she isn't exercising at all, he suggested she try swimming.  
The woman he was referring to is not much older than me but appears to be my polar opposite.  I know that as children we sometimes worry about our parents when they get into their 70s and 80s, but this young man is much more intuitive and on target.  If his aunt is not taking care of herself in her forties, her likelihood of a long, healthy, active life is significantly compromised.

I also wanted to take a moment to remind you that everyone, (exercisers and non-exercisers)  is at risk of metabolic changes (problems) when they spend uninterrupted hours sitting.  It is worse for non exercisers but bad for all persons.

By exercise I mean - activity that is intended to increase the heart rate or respiration during the activity's duration.
Exercise as defined in the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans document:. A subcategory of physical activity that is planned, structured, repetitive, and purposive in the sense that the improvement or maintenance of one or more components of physical fitness is the objective. "Exercise" and "exercise training" frequently are used interchangeably and generally refer to physical activity performed during leisure time with the primary purpose of improving or maintaining physical fitness, physical performance, or health.

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