Drop the gadgets and grab a bike!


According to the latest studies on obesity, which states that our population is gaining girth by leaps and bounds, fewer and fewer people are exercising. This seems totally contrary to the amount of gadgets that proliferate the ads on TV and magazines. I know many individuals who have Fit Bits and Smart Watches that report their every move who have not lost any weight and do not exercise. I think they believe that once they own the gadgets that they’re all set. Just having them will make the weight magically disappear.
It reminds me of when I owned a fitness center and people would sign up for six weeks, come a few days and never return. There were always dedicated individuals who showed up, but a lot of people lived with the allusion that once they paid the fee, they were all set. No need to actually exercise.
Today our way of life has become one that has removed a lot of active exercise. I hardly ever see kids in my neighborhood riding bikes or playing games. I remember coming home from school, changing my clothes and hopping on my bike. I loved riding up and down the neighborhood. My friends and I would build forts in empty lots and create all kinds of imaginary plots that entertained us for hours. Our parents would stand outside and scream our names until we finally gave up and went inside. There were some kids that were overweight, but most were sinewy and agile.
Our food intake was a non issue since no one walked around with snacks and drinks. I essentially ate three meals a day as did my peers. I loved sitting down to dinner since my mother always made great meals, but being able to play outside was one of my greatest joys. I wasn’t concerned about how many steps I took or journaling what I ate. I don’t ever remember hearing my family talk about how many calories were in the spaghetti and meatballs or anything else we ate. Calories were burned doing everyday tasks washing dishes, floors, walking to school and the stores. We actually had to get up from our chairs to change the channel on the TV. The newest gadgets are removing the last vestiges of calorie burning. You can ask your phone to do almost anything. I foresee a future that has humans propel themselves around in flying chairs equipped with remotes that respond to our every wish.
Gadgets may be fun and may encourage some folks to have healthier lifestyle. However, what may really work is a return to educating children and adults to incorporate play into their lives. Movement needs to be fun and more spontaneous. Making it feel like a military exercise replete with reports on how much we’ve done, somehow doesn’t feel like fun.

About lorettalaroche

An international stress management and humor consultant whose wit, and irreverent humor, has, for over 30 years raised the humor potential in all of us. She is on the Mass General advisory council for anxiety and depression and was recently awarded the National Humor Treasure Award. Loretta writes a weekly newspaper column called, 'Get a Life'.
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One Response to Drop the gadgets and grab a bike!

  1. gone says:

    why don’t you post comments?

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