August 1, 2016 — By Health Ambassador Harry Carson
I consider myself very fortunate. I say that because as I live my life I recognize that I am at a stage where I can pick and choose the things I want to do. Conversely, if I don’t want to do certain things I can politely say “no” and move on. That’s me and my situation. I am very much aware that not everyone has that freedom of choice and options.
I open this blog saying this because I just recently went through what most mothers and fathers go through on a daily basis, parenting. I just spent a little more than a week being “Pop Pop” to my grandchildren. I can never say “No” to the opportunity to spend time with them. My granddaughter is 10 years old and is my Princess and my grandson is 6 and is very much like a Tornado. I call them my “Puddin” and my “Package” and I love them to death! They are the beat of my heart. The time I get to spend with them during the summer I truly treasure. The time with them also brings me back to a reality that I forget at times (especially at my age). When you have kids in the house who get bored easily and especially a 6 year old young man who has an abundance of energy I realize that my time is not necessarily my time anymore. Having my grandkids with me for a week makes me super cognizant of what most parents go through every day especially during summer vacation when kids are out of school. I usually work out in my gym several days a week but the energy level needed to physically keep up with young children is tremendous. It’s not just being active with them but also includes planning and preparing meals. I can clearly see how a parent can opt for fast foods that might not necessarily be the healthiest choice to eat instead of a well thought out healthy meals.
Now, I say all of that to get to this one point. Not that I didn’t know before but being with my grandchildren around the clock for that week showed me how easy it is for me to neglect myself. Whether it was being so tired entertaining or running after them all day that I didn’t feel like going to the gym or getting away from eating healthy for fast food I could totally understand how easy it is to get off track managing life and children. For most parents who work full time jobs and still have to manage their family life I know it is a lot of work. But I want to encourage you to find a way to contribute to your own health and well being. According to the Center for Disease Control, physical activity among adults remained low. When activity of adults is low the doors to ailments like diabetes, cardiovascular disease among other conditions are opened simply because of sedentary lifestyles. Get up and get move, whether it’s Meditation, Yoga, Stretching early in the morning or visiting a gym, health club or taking a “brisk” walk at lunchtime or some type of physical activity after work even with the kids helps. In a nutshell, doing something is better than doing nothing. And remember that aside from time, the best gift every parents can give their child or children is a healthy parents.
Most grandparents I know say the following about being a grandparent. “It’s great to have the grand kids, to love on and spoil but it feels even better to give them back to their parents at some point”. For me, that is when I really enjoy making living my life a priority!