The Fitness Zone
Personal Trainers are needed to educate children and their parents about food and exercise, says Shaun Radford, BPhed, Fitness Coach from the WA campus.
With the uprise in energy dense foods, the decline in physical activity and the lack of education on physical activity and health, it is estimated that there are 43 million children who are overweight (WHO, 2011).
This gives us as health and fitness professionals, a much-needed role of not just helping people increase the health outcomes with exercise and nutritional advice, but also puts us into the role of educators. We need to help promote that a life-long behaviour change is needed, rather than a quick fix.
By educating parents on consciously making healthy lifestyle choices and taking part in physical activity, we can work towards turning the trends around.
It is well known that it's recommended to increase fruit and vegetables in the diet, limit sugar intake, etc., but the problem lots of people have is being able to stick to these rules.
Some tips you can give to your clients to stick to a healthy lifestyle are:
- Shop fresh. If you can go direct to the grower, butcher or market do so.
- If you have to shop at the supermarket, stick to the outside of the store. This is where most of the fresh produce is found.
- Always take a list. This will help curb any impulse buys.
- Never shop when you are hungry. You're more likely to stick to your list if you go shopping with a full stomach.
- Do 30 minutes to one hour of physical activity on most days of the week, even if it's just getting out for a walk.
- Be as active in as many ways as possible, like taking stairs instead of the lift.
- Think of physical activity as fun. On rest days, find leisure activities that will push your boundaries or keep you active, so that you don't think of it as exercise.
If we stick together, along with our Allied Health Professionals, hopefully one day we can win the war over the expanding waistline.
About Shaun Radford
Shaun is a Coach at the Australian Institute of Fitness in QLD, as well as a Presenter at fitness conferences. Having been in the fitness industry for over nine years, Shaun has also held positions as a Group Exercise Instructor, Personal Trainer, and mentor.