|Valerie Lawson - Exercise Physiologist|
Regardless of age, gender, or disability, physical activity is important for all of our health, and being inactive affects many areas of our lives (financial, insurance coverage, health, etc.). We as health care professionals/providers/experts need to communicate how we are all connected: if some or any of us are inactive, it affects the whole team, the population, and the community.
At any age, activity is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle. If we have children under the age of 2 years who are overweight and inactive, this excess weight begins to impede their ability to be mobile on their own, and they learn at a young age how to be inactive. Similarly, this cycle of inactivity affecting mobility can occur over time if adults are inactive, and they slowly return to little mobility. Adults and children might need to learn how to be active to improve mobility or functional ability.
Because inactivity can become a vicious cycle that can affect us as children, adolescents, and adults, promoting Triple-A for health, regardless of age (uncontrollable risk factors) and/or mobility disabilities can prevent this cycle from repeating. Each day, take time to determine how you can be more active, and how you can help educate others on being more active. Note that we need to be active first, or lead by example; we cannot give recommendations for improved states of health if we do not follow them ourselves. (I cannot ask or tell others to stop smoking because it is bad for their health, affects other chronic conditions, and increases risk of cancer if I myself have cigarettes each day.) I should examine my lifestyle first and make sure that I am able to follow or live by my own recommendations before I can expect others to make the changes.
Being active at any age is a statement that all of us can start today and begin to implement tomorrow. Be active first, make healthier choices for yourself, and then encourage and support others to make changes that improve their quality of life.
It is much easier to believe that you are capable of change if the people who are recommending a healthier lifestyle practice them as well.
Please send your comments and feedback to Valerie Lawson at firstname.lastname@example.org.