This past weekend, I attended the Canfit Pro conference in Calgary. I attended two, full-day courses, one on functional training and the other on MMA Kickboxing! Super-fun, super exhausting and now I have to write two exams! Yikes! Saturday was a full day of various workshops. The workshops and presenters all talked about changing lives through fitness and healthy lifestyles but two presenters used the same phrase that kind of struck a cord with me. “We are shrinking!”. At first, I was thinking… well that is a GOOD thing because we keep hearing the statistics rattled off in the news almost daily that as a society we have become alarmingly obese and what is worse is that our kids are becoming that way too! However, this wasn’t the shrinking that they were talking about…
So many things today have been made to make lives easier. Tools so we don’t have to work so hard or do so much manual labour. Think: remote controls, cordless phones, dishwashers, swiffer sweepers, robotic vacuums! One presenter threw out a statistic that on average people are burning 750 calories less PER DAY than we were three decades ago! If you think about that – its quite astonishing! If one pound of fat is 3500 calories – it would only take about four days or so of eating at an excess of that to gain a pound! Over a year – wow!
If that isn’t bad enough… think of it in this context: When we don’t exercise, we don’t create energy. We feel slumpy and lazy and our cells don’t regenerate and carry the oxygen that they can if we exercise daily. This translates into not wanting to play with our kids, take our dogs for a walk or even go outside to enjoy some fresh air. If you are overweight or obese, you probably don’t feel like walking around Disneyland or a water park! You might not want to get on a bike and go for a ride, or hike up a great trail to see the world from up high.
THIS is how obesity and being unfit shrinks our lives – it shrinks our experiences and our kids’ experiences. How sad is that? Instead of having the energy to play outside – we are in front of our computers or TVs or smart phones and we are teaching our kids to do the same.
I had the amazing opportunity to do a 90 minute workshop with Peter Twist from Twist conditioning. He is SUCH a spiritual, peaceful yet energetic man. I can’t even explain the aura that he omits – his energy is absolutely incredible. He had us team up and we did all sorts of relays using agility drills. The theme was teaching beginners through advanced how to safely use plyometric exercises. We had SO much fun! A huge room full of adults running races (not to mention we are all trained fitness professionals – can you say COMPETITIVE???). Everyone was laughing and cheering – OH AND OUR HEART RATES WERE THROUGH THE ROOF! Exercise and FUN!! Now that is the best of both worlds. He reiterated, “Safety, not Circus” and “Work so you can Play”. His mantra throughout all of his facilities, and training: “Body Ready – Mind Sharp – Attitude Positive!” – how awesome is that? We had to repeat that throughout the whole workshop.
Sunday when I got home, I was beat – physically tired, mentally exhausted and just plain done. But I had picked up a few new training tools as well as some MMA gloves and pads. So I got my girls up to show them some of the new stuff I learned. I had them punching and kicking and using battle ropes in our living room! We were laughing and they were breathing super hard – they said, “Whoa Mom, this is hard work!” – I replied with, “Yes, but you’re smiling and laughing, which must mean its fun too!” and we all had a good laugh!
So this is something to think on for all of us. What is standing in the way of the experiences you want to have? If it has anything to do with your weight or fitness levels its something that is completely changeable. I didn’t say “easy”, but its something that each and every one of us can work towards to improve. There is almost no injury or illness that can’t be modified for. Each small step is a one step forward to EXPANDING your world and those of your loved ones!