On Monday I read an article in the paper which made me angry (actually I read lots which made me angry…but no-one wants to read a blog post about Donald Trump). The headline of this article read…
“British children in bottom of world fitness league”
This fact, whilst it angers me, is not surprising. Today, children are brought up watching T.V., playing computer games, and looking at iPad screens. I am sure that these are all fantastic ways to keep children occupied, but the fact is they are doing serious damage to the physical and mental health of today’s youth.
Exercise is something which I am passionate about- I was never the ‘sporty’ type (that was always my sister’), and until the age of about 15, I wasn’t particularly interested in exercise at all. Since then, however, thanks mainly to my Dad, keeping fit has become an integral part of my daily life. I go to the gym 4 times a week, do Pilates in my uni room, and walk to and back from uni every day. I am not by any means trying to paint myself as some kind of exercise Goddess- I am far from the fittest (5km is plenty, thanks), or the strongest, but I exercise because it makes me feel like a better version of myself. When I exercise every day, I feel strong, healthy, and my mind feels clearer. If I’m stressed, I know that exercising will help me relax. It is the one thing I make time for every single day, because if I don’t do it, I feel rubbish. Exercising plays a big role in my positive outlook on life, and, for me, it is the best medicine.
And whilst I’ve focused on the effects that exercising has on my mental health (exercise is proven to help with depression), there is also an abundance of physical benefits too. Decreasing the risk of Type 2 diabetes, cutting the risk of strokes, cancers, osteoporosis. Obviously, it is not conclusive to say that if you exercise you definitely WON’T get these things, but it certainly won’t do you any harm.
SO…when I read the above headline this week, it made me angry because, as I’ve just shown, exercising has SO MANY BENEFITS, and there are SO MANY different types. This country offers an almost infinite amount of different physical activities- everything from football and tennis to Zumba and aerobics on a trampoline (who knew?!). There is literally something for every person, regardless of age or gender, or ability.
This then begs the question- why on earth are our youngest generation at the bottom of the global fitness league? As one of the most developed countries in the world, this fact is, quite frankly, shameful. We should be bringing these children up to love exercising and being outdoors- not in an obsessive, “I want to look good” way, but because it could (almost certainly will) help them to become happier, healthier people.
Which is why the title of the blog is “Get Moving”. I don’t care if you never read any of my blogs again, or if you tell everyone that I’m talking nonsense. If I can persuade ONE MORE PERSON to do a little bit more exercise, even if it’s 30 minutes, 15 minutes, even 5 minutes (it’s better than nothing!) a day, then I will be a happy girl:)
PS. I’m always happy anyway, I’ll just be even happier.