What is the most common health issue you now hear about almost every day? You would think the answer would be problems like cancer, mental health or cholesterol. Although these are very prominent issues in the current world of health, food intolerances and allergies actually take the cake.
Nine years ago, I developed a severe gluten intolerance that forced me to change my life and my way of living, immensely. This was during a time when food intolerances and allergies, specifically gluten, were only beginning to surface. I was given minimal guidance as to how I could move forward in my life without the pain and stress my newly developed intolerance was causing. After numerous helpless appointments, tests and food diaries, I decided to take this journey upon myself. It only took 5 years of playing the trial and error game until I figured out exactly what I could eat and what foods/ingredients to avoid. Fortunately, for the newbies who are ‘gracefully’ welcomed to the Gluten Free world, there is a great abundance of helpful resources and knowledge out there that will make your life transition a lot less painful, no pun intended.
The reason I bring my story into account is to raise a very important issue, one that I feel very strongly about. Let’s take a few steps back – back to my pre-gluten-free days.
Who remembers the nutrition unit in gym class during grade school? Many have a recollection that the Canada Food Guide was in it … somewhere. What I’m trying to get at is that if I were educated about the proper sources of nutrition and important lifestyle habits in a way that would have impacted me enough to ensure I included it throughout the forthcoming of my life, I may have been able to dodge this intolerance I now have to deal with day in and day out.
The number of health issues adults are facing nowadays are only on the rise, and at an exponential rate. Fifty percent of people over the age of 25 are on some sort of health kick, each with a mission – to attempt to repair the years of damage they have previously caused their body. This mere fact alone is what leads me to my niche, to my passion, and to a matter that hits so close to home.
Personal health and wellness are aspects of our lives that should be of top priority. However, in a fast-paced environment like the one we live in, health and wellness tend to take a seat on the back burner. Remember when you were a child, or perhaps have children of your own?! Spending your spare time consisted of running around, playing outside and just being plain ol’ active! To our disadvantage, as we grow older and forced to face the stresses of life, being active is less of an inclusion to our daily lives. I decided to test my hypothesis; that the amount of physical activity decreases as we get older. I had a varying range of age groups, grade 4/5s, grade 9s and grade 11s, participate in a fitness assessment, and recorded the observations and results. The fitness assessment was identical for each age group.
Students engaged in a boot camp circuit-style session where they had to complete the 5 challenges as many times as possible in half an hour. My findings were shocking.
Fitness Assessment Results:
Grade 11s – completed 2.25 rounds
Grade 9s – completed 3 rounds
Grade 4/5s – completed 5 rounds
As you can see, there is a huge drop in physical fitness as children grow older and participate in less and less physical activity.
Our lives will continue move at the fast pace that is does, we do not have the power to control that. What we CAN control is the outcome of our future and the future of our children and youth of today. Let’s take a step towards prevention, towards educating and practicing how to live healthy and active lives and towards making our future filled with healthy and happy individuals! By doing this, we can ensure that health and wellness are no longer neglected as children work their way towards adulthood. Providing the proper nutritional knowledge, as well, is imperative to the successful growth of a child! If you are a parent or some form of youth educator, ensure that you stress the importance of making healthy nutritional choices and active living. We utilize every outlet we have to minimize, or optimally, completely avoid these new health problems that consume the world of health today.