Wednesday, October 17, 2012
I am occasionally asked by students to answer their questions about Kinesiology, fitness and health for their own interest or for school projects. This week I received some great questions from a grade 10 student in the Valley and fired off some quick answers to help her with her school assignment. Some of her questions were unique and thought provoking...and made me think;) Have a read through and consider how you would have answered these questions...
Disclaimer: My answers below are not the gospel...merely my opinion.
Q: Why did you choose your career?
A: I had a lifelong passion for sports and fitness but originally went to university to become a writer. I injured my back working as a tree planter and ended up in Physiotherapy as a patient. That is when I learned about Kinesiology and entered the program at UVic.
Q: Why is physical activity so important to you?
A: For so many reasons- some of which are hard to put into words. Personal health and longevity of course. And of course the health of our community and the future of our children. But there are so many more benefits that can be gained through movement...that inactive people may not have realized. Self confidence is a huge one. This builds and builds with every step taken and every challenge tackled. Joy is a huge one as well. Humans are meant to move and there is a joy that comes from participating in physical activity- once you find the activity that meets your needs. I could go on and on but let's go with that for starters;)
Q: Do you agree with society/media’s view of the “perfect body”?
A: Hmmmm...different industries have different definititions of the perfect body to start with- look at the modelling industry vs the 'health' industry. And no, there is definitely no 'perfect body' in my opinion.
Q: What is your opinion on the obesity rates, especially those of children and youth?
A: Unacceptable in an educated first world society. Understandable due to compounding variables such as affluence, the 'food' industry, lifestyle and society changes over the past few decades. Terrifying to envision the future condition of our population, health care system and effect on our society.
Q: Do you believe that an addiction to working out is healthy?
A: Hmmmm...the word addiction turns any good thing into a bad thing. When the addiction is driving the choice rather than the individual making the decisions this may turn activity into an unhealthy thing (over exercising to the point of it becoming unhealthy and doing more harm than good to the body). Addiction is a very complicated topic and one that should perhaps be addressed by a qualified psychotherapist.
Q: In your opinion what is the minimal amount of daily exercise a person should do?
A: 30-60 minutes per day of movement at the VERY minimum. That includes walking and light to moderate activities. We are meant to move! Not long ago we all moved for 6-10+hours per day before our society became sedentary. I think people forget this.
Q: Do you believe that all the weight-loss pills and medications are scams?
A: Hard to say 100% but I believe the majority of 'pills' are (useless at best and potentially dangerous at worst). Prescription medication aside.
Q: Do you think that skinnier people are treated better by society than the overweight?
A: In the adult world I do not see open discrimination towards overweight people in my own day to day life. But I know that this is different amongst school aged children. Children often treat other children poorer if they are different in any way- be it overweight, awkward, taller, shorter, etc.
Q: Do you think that fitness is the most important aspect to a healthy lifestyle?
A: No- fitness is only one of many pillars of health and must be balanced with the others. Fitness, body composition, nutrition, mental health, emotional health, social health are a few of the other areas that make up a healthy lifestyle.
Q: What would you say to all the young teens that hate their bodies because of society’s opinions?
A: Hmmmm...that hurts me just to think about anyone 'hating' their body. Your body is part of you and is the only one you have. It will take care of you if you love it, nurture it and use it the way it was made to move. Our bodies are a gift- not a given. We do not know what tomorrow will bring and must enjoy every moment that we have to move and reach towards our dreams. Life is short and that body is precious. Enjoy it! Many people do not have that gift.