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Kids, Fitness and Nutrition: Beating Obesity

By Stephen R. Farris

Exercise is a big deal these days, especially with the obesity rate at an all-time high. But exercise wasn't such a big deal until 1966, when President Lyndon B. Johnson created the Presidential Physical Fitness award. The name has changed a couple of times since then, but the emphasis on getting fit and staying fit is still the same. 

The exercises included in the test were limited, and consisted of a softball throw, the broad jump, 50-yard dash and a 600-yard walk (or run). Growing up, the local church I went to had a similar type program where us kids would meet up after school and do the above mentioned exercises and record our progress each week. At the end, the top three kids with the highest combined totals were awarded medals. It was a lot of fun and we didn't need smartphones or digital devices to make us happy and content back then. Just good old fashioned indoor/outdoor activities.

While the program no longer exists, the idea of promoting exercise didn't completely go away. We now have what is called the President's Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition (PCFSN), formerly the President's Council on Youth Fitness that began back in 1956. The name change was made by President Barack Obama in 2012. While the focus was on fitness, Obama included a new element, nutrition. Today, kids are encouraged to exercise more, participate in local youth sports and eat healthier.

Many notable sports celebrities currently serve as chairpersons on the council such as former professional baseball player Mariano Rivera, and former National Football League great, Herschel Walker.

The Importance of Nutrition

It's important in today's society that kids receive proper nutrition and are getting plenty of exercise. Too much time is spent on mobile devices, watching television or playing video games. Inactivity is beginning to take its toll among our youth and creating health problems. 

To change that, kids should have plenty of servings of fresh fruits and vegetables, and cutback on sodas and high fat snacks, especially of the fast-food variety. According to reports, kids should be getting at least 60 minutes of exercise each day as well.

If you're having concerns about your child's health and nutrition, visit with your local chiropractor. They can make suggestions and offer tips on exercise and nutritional needs. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in New Braunfels, Tex.

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