Wednesday 26 July 2017

Shape Up: Those lost, lazy days of summer

Library image. Photo: Getty Images
Library image. Photo: Getty Images

Damien Maher

Now that school is only around the corner, summer's migrants, predominantly women and children, are beginning the journey home where they will attempt to get back to reality after their summer sojourn.

The last few months may have seen you gain weight and slip out of your regular exercise routines. This is because you weren't up to the challenge of maintaining the body shape that you worked hard to build earlier in the year.

Every year it amazes me to see the number of people who abandon their health during the summer months as they depart for Roundstone, Ballyconneely, Rosslare, Kilmuckridge and beyond.

As the months pass and your waistline expands, the post-mortem begins on how this happened to you again. You may point the finger of blame at the children -- "The kids were on holidays. I would have trained but I had no time," -- but in reality you've only got yourself to blame.

Or what about: "I was going to go training but the traffic was heavy and I had a long day at work and I'm a bit tired after my night out at the weekend," -- sound familiar? Excuses, excuses.

As a parent you are the most important role model for your children. It is a case of monkey see, monkey do, and when children see their parents train and look after their health they will aspire to be like them.

The apple never falls far from the tree. What kind of harvest does your fruit bear? Next time you're walking down the street, look at the number of overweight people around you.

Responsibility

With each passing year, obesity, insensitive to age, is wrapping its arms around our future generations who have little knowledge in nutrition and health. I blame the parents, who continue to set bad examples by their own actions.

A child's weight gain is not puppy fat that they will "grow out of". They are learning habits that will hold them back and can lead to obesity in the future. Samuel Johnson said: "The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken."

So how did your holidays go? Are you one of the few who maintained your nutrition and lifestyle habits?

If you gained weight and got a bit soft around the middle it did not just creep up on you.

We are all, right now, living the life we choose. The choices we make are daily, hourly, and our current health status is the result of these choices.

George Bernard Shaw said: "People are always blaming circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances.

"The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them."

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Irish Independent

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