This week Michelle Obama will celebrate the two-year anniversary of her Let’s Move! Campaign. Mrs. Obama’s efforts to eradicate obesity in one generation have underlined this growing health crisis in America. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1/3 of Americans today are obese. Medical costs associated with obesity and obesity related disease, were estimated in 2008 to be $147 billion dollars. While Colorado is ranked as one of the healthiest states in the nation, there is no doubt that obesity is a pressing health care concern for the future of America.
The good news hidden within these statistics is that more than almost any other health care concern today, obesity is a problem that every American can take proactive steps on a personal level to avoid. Programs like Let’s Move! offer education and information to assist individuals making good decisions regarding their health. These programs also create and focus pressure to make positive changes within the marketplace, society and schools to benefit the general health of the county.
To date, Mrs. Obama and her Let’s Move! program have broken the World Record for the most jumping jacks in one day, encouraged new USDA nutritional regulations for school lunch programs, pushed for commitments from major food distributers to expand stores into areas of the country with limited access to fresh and healthy food, received commitments from many of these same companies to cut calories in food, lower prices on fruits and vegetables and to clearly label foods on the front of their packaging to help families make healthy choices.
The Let’s Move! program also encourages families to get active together, reminding parents that they are the best and most important example of healthy living for their children. Kids need on average 60 minutes of physical activity per day, and adults should be getting at least 30 minutes of physical exercise each day as well. Many families struggle to make exercising as a group work, balancing the need to get enough of a challenge for some family members and not pushing others in the family beyond their capabilities. Not to mention that added constraints of scheduling and meal times. However, health clubs offer a variety of solutions to these challenges.
Baby & Me group exercise classes are a great way for new parents to bond with their baby and to teach them from the cradle the importance of physical activity. Furthermore, these classes are a wonderful opportunity for parents to connect with other families in their areas. Often these relationships continue beyond one exercise class into a lasting friendship based around physical activity. Exercise has also been shown to be an excellent way to combat Post Partum Depression and the more mild form, Baby Blues. Boosting endorphin and nor epinephrine levels in mothers has been shown to improve mood in mild and moderate depression. Of course, exercise is not a substitute for professional help; those suffering from depression should talk to their doctor for a complete treatment plan.
Clubs that offer a Kid’s Camp/Gym are a wonderful option for the modern family. Rather than simply providing child-care for children while the parents exercise, Kid’s Gym allows activities for children at their interest level and capability, while still ensuring exercise is fun! The entire family can go to the gym together, but pursue their individual interests while there. The Kids Gym format allows parents to meet up with children between activities for a quick drink, or healthy snack, to check in, reconnect and to make sure everyone is still enjoying himself or herself.
A climbing wall is another great way to encourage families to exercise together. Throughout the country climbing walls placed in common areas or at the front of the building take up a small amount of space while offering a great family activity. People of all ages enjoy the challenge of climbing as high as they can. Climbing walls also offer a wonderful way to mark improvement for every member of the family.
Follow Michelle Obama in fighting obesity and being the healthiest you and your family can be! The Aspen Club and Spa has many wonderful opportunities for you to be more active together. Come on down, take a look at the Kid’s Camp/Gym and check out the gym, facility and the group exercise classes today!