You don't need stats to show you that our country is out of shape, overweight, paying for sick care vs. health care and turning to pills and a drive-thru mentality instead of looking at the problem and working to have a better life. Glaring at your alarm clock at 5 a.m. as it goes off, stumbling out of bed, putting on your shoes and hitting the gym, pool or trail - it's not for the faint of heart. It takes dedication, commitment, hard work and perseverance to get what you want. What you put in is what you get out. Don't go through life half -alive. Be fully alive! Put in the hard work to train for a race. Challenge yourself. If it seems too big, then you're on the right track.

There are no quick solutions. To do anything in life, not just fitness or health. People seeking quick-fixes, magical miracles or instant solutions are either: A) lazy B) uncommitted C) no personal desire to change. You've got to light that personal spark to live life wholeheartedly. No one can do it for you. Sure, you can have positive influences around you to inspire, encourage and motivate you, but the hard work and determination lies squarely upon your shoulders.

The state of our health can only be changed by each person taking personal responsibility. If we are a parent or in a care-giver role it is our duty to take personal responsibility and set a good example for those in our care. The little eyes, ears and feet that look up to us are seeking guidance, wisdom and most of all, watching how we live our life. The next generation is predicted to live a shorter life span then you and I. Kids don't need treat after treat (hear me out on this), they need you and I to live a positive, healthy life. Treats are a falsehood and set kids up for (food) problems later on. Food is not a treat, food is energy. Yes, food is good, but not as a barter/reward system.

The next generation needs to see us taking our health just as serious and important as we do our job, house, car, golf, etc. Active movement shouldn't be an afterthought, but a natural part of our life. And movement doesn't just mean hitting the gym, it's playing on the playground. Shooting hoops with the kids. Going on a nature hike. Biking. Planting a garden if you have that luxury. Or container gardens. Shopping at farmer's market. Using every opportunity to teach, show and live life on a positive, healthy note.

I can't change the world. And neither can you. But what we can do is to keep on living a positive, healthy, fit life as an example to the world that they too can change the way they live. Say no to excuses and yes to living an active, healthy, happy life each and everyday.

Food for thought: are you taking personal health/wellness/fitness responsibility? Or making pathetic excuses?


photo credit: fruity monkey