Healthy living at home, at work, at school
In our fast paced lives where drive-throughs and prepared meals are more the norm than a home-cooked meal, it should come as no surprise that the United States is not the fittest of nations.
One would think living in this outdoor playground that people in Tahoe would lead more healthy lifestyles than others. Not so. We are just as prone to eat lunch sitting at our desks, find comfort in vending machines and think non-fat means not caloric.
There needs to be a multifaceted approach to attacking obesity. Obviously everyone needs to be responsible for themselves, but we need to look at how much latitude we give children.
California is smart to implement at least a limited ban on soft drinks at schools. Children amped up on caffeine and sugar are the last things teachers should have to contend with. There are no health benefits to soda and should no more be in schools than packed in lunches brought from home.
Children are more susceptible to be influenced by what they read and see than adults. It seems like every other advertisement on television is for something that is not good for us. When was the last time you saw an ad for produce?
Advertising works. Why else would McDonald’s and other fast-food chains spend so much money? We know what they serve. But repeatedly seeing those golden arches might be the trigger to get us to buy a burger and fries — and super-size it.
Balance and moderation are the keys. Have dessert, just don’t have a pint of ice cream as a meal. Be able to taste the salad through the dressing. Look at the ingredients in packaged food. Non-fat does not mean it is healthy.
With eating better comes the need to exercise more. The federal government says 30 minutes of exercise a day is the minimum anyone should be getting. Are you?
Time is not a reason to not exercise because exercise will actually extend your life — giving you more time. Take a family walk after dinner. Leave the car at home one day.
Being active will in turn wear off on your children. They really do emulate us more than we think.
There are a number of businesses on the South Shore that are reaping the benefits of sponsoring athletic events or having employees belong to a health club. More of this needs to be encouraged.
Besides the personal benefits of leading a more active life, it is helping businesses keep expenses down. Healthy employees translate to people taking fewer sick days and going to the doctor less often. This all translates to keeping business expenses down.