Get Off Your Butt and Get Moving America!

The other day I read a story that should be a wake up call for all Americans.  According to the story 23% of American teens have diabetes or are at risk for it.  24 percent!  Here’s a quote from the story:

The findings indicate that “a large proportion of teens, regardless of their weight, would benefit from interventions that promote healthy lifestyles, including physical activity and eating a healthy diet,” the researchers said.

Jeez, ya think?

I’m going to take a different tack here and point my finger right at the parents on this one.  If your child is fat get him or her moving!  Cut back on the pizza and crap and give them something good to eat, or at least less of whatever it is you’re feeding them.  Get them outside and get them exercising for crying out loud!

What?  Your kid won’t eat anything but junk food and refuses to go outside?  How about taking away the cell phones, video games, TV, and Internet access until an hour before bedtime?  If nothing else sheer crushing boredom should take them outside, it always did for me when I was a kid.  I have fond memories of my mother yelling up the stairs at me while I was reading my scifi novels, “It’s beautiful outside!  Put that book down and get out there!”  Can you imagine telling someone to put a book down to go outside today?  If kids today actually read a book it’s time for a high five.  But we had balance in my house growing up and doing the firewood and mowing the lawn were our chore and much as we hated it my parents made sure we got out there and did it.  My dad often said that’s why he had two boys!

What?  They get mad when you take their stuff away?  Hey!  Guess what!  You’re their parent – not their friend.  Sometimes you have to make the hard decisions and enforce them when you see them doing something they shouldn’t be doing.  You love them, so prove it.

As far I’m concerned this is already a SHTF situation.  There are ways to get kids interested in the great outdoors and in doing stuff – you just have to figure out what it is that interests them.  If we don’t do something now what will it look like a generation from now?  Fifty percent of kids at risk?  Sixty?

Imagine if you had to walk ten miles for a bug out.  Could your family do it?  Could you do it?  I can’t emphasize how important physical fitness is and I try to stay as fit as possible.  Mrs Jarhead is a runner and I like to lift weights and do Crossfit.  My son is an active three year old and I have to be in shape to keep up with him!

And for those kids who are fit and love to spend time outdoors:  Good for you!!  Keep up the good work. Maybe you could become a leader and get your friends doing stuff outside with you.  Who knows?  You might be saving a life!

Are your children fit?  Are you fit?

-Jarhead Survivor

14 comments… add one
  • Survival Topics May 28, 2012, 8:58 am

    Diet is a big factor too. Take a look around you in a typical crowd, it is amazing how many people are almost spherical in body shape! Loaded up on high-fructose corn syrup containing prepared foods, the human body explodes because this junk cannot be processed properly by the digestive system.

    You didn’t see this level of obesity thirty years ago. Being fat is the new normal. I weigh over 200 pounds, due to my career of weightlifting as a sport, and often I feel dwarfed when surrounded by the massively flabby people I meet on a daily basis.

    I think you are right – parents have the responsibility of showing their children how to live and prosper. Many parents are failing miserably.

  • SLHaynes May 28, 2012, 9:26 am

    JS, you hit the nail on the head. As a child, I had a case of rheumatic fever and was not allowed to even get out of bed much with a teacher coming to the house and all that. Finally, when I was allowed to go back to school, 10th grade, I was very happy. I lived 1.6 miles from school and walked home every day that year. I lost 20 lbs (170 to 150) in two weeks just doing that! Today, I walk and run every morning, sometimes with a medium weight (20 lbs) backpack. I now weigh 130 lbs. and feel pretty dang good at 58 years. You kids, get your butts outside!

  • irishdutchuncle May 28, 2012, 9:31 am

    adults have to get out there and model wholsome outdoor activities for the children. put on a helmet, and ride your bicycle whenever you can. carry the little ones for long walks, in “kid carriers”. put up a basket ball hoop, at home. (and use it) get some “nerf” items, and throw them at your kids, until they start throwing them back. then take it outside with soccer balls, or frisbies… footballs.

    build some simple rubber powered model airplanes, or balsa gliders, and fly them at the park, or in a large back yard. (make the kids retrieve them for you) or make some simple kites. (put on some sunscreen, and go fly them)

    turn off the power to their rooms, and say you forgot to pay the electric bill… after a few days their battery operated stuff will stop working. cook outside on a camp stove, and have a picnic.

  • okfarmwife May 28, 2012, 10:11 am

    I am a new shtfblog member and I appreciate all your suggestions so much!
    We just recently became foster parents of two teenagers…..yeah, I know…WHAT WERE WE THINKING?
    but anyway, that is one of the most difficult things we deal with is how to get those couch potatoes OUT DOING SOMETHING!!
    The girl is 40 pounds overweight and not the least bit interested in doing anything about it! I have to force these kids out of the house!
    We live 20 miles from town in very very rural wilderness Oklahoma. We have 160 acres and there are several thousand acres of wildlife management area across the road…PERFECT place for kids to grow up…….and perfect for survival when SHTF!
    And these kids sit inside…..even without TV, video games and cell phones……they are terrified of the big world out there!
    I grew up on a small farm in central Iowa……if we weren’t in school, we spent the whole day outside doing stuff! Chores such as mowing grass, pulling weeds in the garden and such were normal activities. AND if there was nothing specific on the agenda for the day, we were OUT OF THE HOUSE!! Because if Mom had us under-foot, she would put us to work!
    Out of sight, out of mind…….we were on our own to entertain ourselves!
    Now today, most adults can’t walk 1/4 of a mile……and kids are even worse……heart disease, diabetes, obesity……things KIDS are NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE!!!

    What is our world coming to?
    THANK YOU FOR THE WAKE UP CALL!!!! I have been singing that song for a while……and thanks for all the great advice and sometimes poking us out of our comfort zone!

    • Jason May 28, 2012, 1:19 pm

      Congratulations on becoming a Foster Parent, that is a very noble & great contribution you can make to a neglected child. My next door neighbor growing up was a doctor in psychology with a practice & a Foster Parent. I got to see first hand how much good he & his wife did for many, many children.

      When the over weight girl sees & discovers that she has real value & is truly loved, the weight will cease to be an issue.

  • Eric May 28, 2012, 10:29 am

    GO JS !!!!! Tell’um!!!

  • Jason May 28, 2012, 1:01 pm

    Crack! … going, going, going – gone!! It’s another Jarhead home run!

    I will be 58 this year & was fortunate to grow up in a time in America where there was no Internet, cell phones, fax machines or other mass communication devices. Growing up coastal California, specifically LA, we had 7 TV channels to watch – that’s it. Nothing on TV was very interesting & I did not know a single kid who hung out inside the home for extended hours at a time unless they were being punished.

    Consequently, we all played outside. Rode bikes, played every sport imaginable, walked or rode bikes 7 miles to the beach throughout the summer. I did not know a single fat kid – even at my school, yes high school as well.

    When my now 19 year old son was 5, we shut off the TV completely. The reason? We discovered that life clicked away at 30 minute increments because the programming was DESIGNED to keep you glued to the TV & the various shows. The result of that decision was my son became an avid reader, hooked on Crossfit, Parkour & Jiu Jitsu & became a 4.3 GPA student because of the extra time he had. My now 17 year old daughter has a high interest in art & writing & is a national competition dancer with a similar GPA.

    We never pushed our kids into anything but we did encourage them in whatever interest they displayed & it became easy because of the habits they learned early on & we NEVER allowed our kids to say “I am bored”. <<<< NEVER, EVER! That is simply saying – entertain me or create something for me to do & that's the kiss of death. We taught them to ask more alternative thinking "what can I/we do now?" or "I am going to do X, is that ok?" or "can I help you?"

    Today I have a 7 year old & he & I ride bikes everywhere for more than an hour at a time (I set up several courses through the city & ride behind him explaining what to watch for etc). I have a tetherball set-up in the yard for him & the neighbor kids, we will race on foot or him on his Razor scooter, me on a bike & it will be 2 miles long – no kidding.

    We will take the light rail to the beach, ride for an hour & take the light rail back home. I have made a point to learn all of the "free" things we can do – parks, library etc. just to get us out of the house. It's not hard but takes a little work initially & keeps me from getting caught up in, whatever the Internet distraction flavor of the day is.

    What has happened in my opinion is adults have been lulled to sleep with technology. Don't get me wrong, I L-O-V-E technology but it has become a distraction tool to be used on kids. Handheld devices, TV's mounted in cars and more all in an effort to shut the child up, I mean educate them ….. yea, right ….. so we can get on with our lives.

    If someone is a parent & has fat kids who just want to sit around and communicate with their thumbs, whose skin in ashen in color, eats Doritos & washes it down with a Coke & constantly complain that there is nothing to do, it's their fault because the lack of involvement & a self centered life IS the role model.

    Lastly, diet & exercise can change almost everything.

  • Michael May 28, 2012, 8:21 pm

    yeah, you pretty much nailed that one.

    $2 in seeds will grow a hell of a lot of spinach. It’s not that expensive to eat healthy.

    I don’t have any kids, but one of my brothers keeps turning out track stars and my sisters kid loves to dance. They’re pretty healthy and while they do indulge in a little junk food every now and then, mostly they eat really well.

  • T.R. May 28, 2012, 10:52 pm

    One problem is morality , when you have children having children ……….. parenting is hard enough when you are a mature adult and lucky enough to be brought up with the concept of morals , manors , and work ethic . But what can one expect from a 15 – 18 YO with no life experiences under their belt and and Liberal media as a guide telling them that the bad decisions they make are ok and acceptable and to be tolerant of everything , not to mention it must be somebody eles fault other than their own . Good job ! for those that dont follow that pattern , wish there were more of you . Just sayin

  • RamboMoe May 29, 2012, 4:23 am

    The scary thing is, if everyone in America were to switch to a healthy lifestyle tomorrow, it would likely tank an already fragile economy. My, what a tangled web we weave…

    +1 to parental responsibility. The west has a lot of great values that it’s built on, but unfortunately as a whole we’ve become very spoiled and lazy. The way I see it, the only way out is a collective return to the old-school values of hard work and self-discipline. The older generations had this forced on them (2 world wars sandwiching a great depression), how to instill such ethic into the present generation without such trauma, your guess is as good as mine.

  • Joe May 29, 2012, 7:45 am

    “What? They get mad when you take their stuff away? Hey! Guess what! You’re their parent – not their friend.”


    I was talking to a friend yesterday. He was telling me that he and his 10 year old daughter were walking through a big box store when they both heard a mother say to their child “Put that down and come here. I’m going to count to three and if you don’t put that down and come here, you’re going to be in trouble. One…..two….”

    My friend’s daughter looked at her dad and said “She won’t say three.” And she didn’t the woman started over a couple of times but never got to three. That’s another problem. When parents don’t follow through, kids know it and learn from it.


  • sillyMe May 29, 2012, 11:36 am

    Diabetes is genetic. About half the people who have diabetes don’t know it because it is a progressive disease and the symptoms get worse over time. Treatment of diabetes is generally treating the symptoms and not curing the disease itself. What has happened recently is that doctors have begun trying to identify diabetes earlier, before symptoms become serious, and thus they can mitigate the sufferring and progression of the disease. However, some groups and even doctors (who should know better) have used these greater efforts to identify diabetics to create the impression that diabetes is increasing and is epidemic. This is dishonest and flat out inaccutrate. Many special interest groups have jimped on the bandwagon and try to claim the supposed diabetes epidemic is the result of our diet, our lack of excercise, or whatever bais the special interest has. Not true; you get diabetes from your parents not your food. One complicating factor is that diabetes like a few other disease benefits from a specific diet. It only takes two brain cells to infer that if a special diet helps mitigate the symptoms of diabetes then the special diet might prevent diabetes. Well if you have a few more brain cells you look deeper and recognize that diabetes is a genetic disease and not a result of eating junk food or sugar. Another confounding factor with diabetes is that certain ethnic groups are more prone to this genetic disease and those same ethnic groups are that protion of our population that is increasing dramatically. So again it appears that diabetes is increasing but in fact the rate remains the same.

    • Jason May 29, 2012, 2:40 pm

      Very interesting point. I thought that diabetes could have been more of a function of poor diet & did not realize how much genetics played such a dominate factor. Like most everything else, I am sure that a poor diet has caused some cases of diabetes but that is probably rare & may be a gene that skipped a generation or two.

      I do agree with you about the slant towards it becoming an epidemic because there are so many factors that are not explained like advancements in early detection.

      I used to think that heart disease was genetic until I read “Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease”. The book is well documented & written by a heart surgeon & (he) proved to have reversed heart disease by diet alone. I had an opportunity to speak to him one on one in 2 separate occasions for an hour each time & he summed up his findings as follows – moderate exercise, total cholesterol under 150 & triglycerides under 90.

      He had a core group of patients he worked with for 20 years, 3 of which had no male live past the age of 55 & died from heart failure, and all are still alive and in their 70’s. His book has before & after proof of the reversal of heart disease. The diet is purely vegan as well.

      Another very interesting & mind blowing book on diet is “The China Study”. The author actually backed into the solution, it is really good if you are into a healthier lifestyle.

  • Newg May 29, 2012, 2:48 pm

    I have 2 teens in the house and ever since they were born, the only unlimited food in the house was fruits and veggies. Yes, they could eat as many apples, carrots, etc…they wanted, but they had to ask for anything else. They were taught that the fruits and veggies were healthy and that they had to eat healthy in order to get any junk. Yes, I did allow junk too, but only in limited quanities.

    We try to sit down to a home cooked meal every night (if practices allow) and if we notice the kids are getting a little on the chunky side, then the next grocery run will not include any junk at all. I try not to be extreme about it, but I let the kids know that eating healthy is important.

    Besides just limiting their diet, each kid is required to play a sport. They can pick the sport, but they have to be involved with something. One of my kids plays competitive soccer and the other varsity baseball. They both participate in running 5K’s a few times a year as well.


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