Fit Kids

This time of year, it is great to see kids running around outside and having a great time. The obesity, asthma, and other general poor health problems facing children has been well documented. Just look around. The problem is real. “Turn off your TV” isn’t enough anymore. There are many distractions, including other types of electronic media, that keep kids from exploring the environment outside. Last Monday night was the first Summer Grand Prix Cross Country Race Series at Wickham Park in Manchester, Connecticut. At 6:00 P.M., dozens of kids run a 1 mile course that winds through the park. A group of dedicated volunteers and parents cheer in support. You can see that these kids are building self-esteem and enjoying the fresh air. Can playing a video game generate the same response? It is doubtful that they can.

In Connecticut, we have a wonderful Department of Environmental Protection program that is aptly called, No Child Left Inside. With so many natural resources close by, the state is promoting state park visits and challenging kids and parents to get outside to see the natural beauty of the environemnt. We heard the commissioner of the CT DEP speak. She gets it!

At a recent cookout that we attended, kids bounced on a trampolin and ran around, having a great time. It was wonderful to see the high energy exhibited and the energy gained from being outdoors. Summer is time for camp. Summer is a time to be outside. Summer is time for kids to explore and break the constraints that keep them from being active and healthy. Let’s hope that the habits formed at this time of year carry on.

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1 Response to “Fit Kids”

  1. 1 article31 15 July 2007 at 10:07 am

    I never anticipated finding such thought provoking reading on an early Sunday morning.

    As a parent, I couldn’t agree more that our society faces an epidemic of obese children. My own home has struggled with this issue, as my son struggles with “Inattentive ADHD”, a form of ADHD that makes a child mentally hyperactive but physically extremely sedate.

    I have heard many parents complain about their children’s weight issues, and i have looked at these parents to note, like myself, they’re packing a few extra pounds too! There is only one way to lead in this area and that’s by example. This past March I made radical changes to the way we eat in this home. The result to date, I have lost weight, but my son, amazingly has dropped just under 60 pounds, and has voluntarily begun exercising more each day.

    Obesity is a battle, and it’s a war that we can only fight on each and every home front. We as human beings have forgotten why we eat food, and have turned it into a fashionable act of pleasure. Food is meant to be fuel for our inner engine. In cars, if you put in too much fuel you flood the engine. If you put in fuel that’s too rich, you kill the engine. If you put in fuel that’s low quality, you kill the engine. As parents, we must focus on our children’s activity levels, but equally important, we must give consideration to the kind of fuel we are putting into our children.

    There is no better way to lead in the battle against obesity than to lead by example. Oh…and by the way…since March of this year, I’ve taken 6 inches off of my waistline.

    James C. Tanner

    James C. Tanner of and is a retired entrepreneur, a former special Investigator, and a published writer whose articles are enjoyed by 12.5 million readers monthly.

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