Preadolescence is a time of major change and growth, bringing psychological, physical and social shifts for boys and girls alike. Caught between the carefree days of childhood and the first throes of being a teenager, “tweens” (roughly aged 9–12) are a force to be reckoned with. Like many other populations, preadolescents are suffering from lack of exercise, which threatens to chart a course toward obesity and disease.
It is well known that the United States faces a childhood obesity epidemic. In fact, 81% of respondents in a poll on the topic considered childhood obesity a serious concern and two-thirds believed the problem was getting worse (Hassink, Hill & Biddinger 2011). Actually, national surveys show a stabilization of childhood obesity rates and even small declines in some localities (RWJF 2012).
Whether eating carrots will improve eyesight or consuming spinach will build Popeye-like strength is immaterial to children. In fact, telling them such things as a way of coaxing them to eat certain foods actually repels them, according to a forthcoming study in the October issue of Consumer Research.
Personal Trainer: Marc Coronel, owner of Open Mind Fitness
Location: Greenwich, Connecticut
Rewriting History. At 12 years of age, Aja was becoming one of the many overweight and obese children in the U.S. He preferred the PlayStation to playing outside, and the only movement he experienced was during physical education class at school. But that didn’t seem enough to combat his relative inactivity and fondness for sweets.
The unique properties of water (buoyancy and resistance) provide a safe and effective modality for both relaxation and vigorous exercise, yet the health benefits of water workouts are not widely known. Current public health trends—especially rising rates of obesity, coupled with an aging population, associated chronic conditions and rising healthcare costs—are a call to new action for both treatment and prevention.
Have you ever walked into a room and forgotten why you were there? Diminished cognitive health—from this type of mild decline to more serious dementia—can have profound implications for overall health and well-being. Sustained brain health and enhanced lifelong learning are vital parts of aging and improve quality of life. Cognition, which includes mental processes such as intuition, judgment, language, remembering and the ability to learn new things, has a key role in wellness.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC 2009), by 2030 the portion of the U.S. population aged 65 and older will double to about 71 million. The growing number of older Americans will put unique demands on public health, aging services and the nation’s healthcare system. The CDC suggests that chronic diseases (e.g., cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes) place a profound health and economic burden on older adults, owing to associated long-term illness, diminished quality of life and greater healthcare costs.
I“It’s not in my genes to be fit.” “My grandkids wore me out, and I can’t exercise.” “I was just lucky to lift that much weight.” “My days are so boring—the only thing I look forward to is a good meal.”