The Importance and Benefits of Exercise

courtesty getty images As the wife of a collegiate level strength and conditioning coach I am constantly informed of the importance of living an active lifestyle. However, I did not realize how being sedentary could adversely effect my life until I read The Toll of Sedentary Living in chapter 5 of "An Invitation to Health" (Hales, 2009).

“Sedentary living claims some 250,000 lives, accounting for 10 percent of all deaths in America every year, and contributes to four of the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.” (p. 110)

Three of these risk factors cause poor health in my family or my husband’s family. While my husband’s biological risks do not directly impact my personal health, we are the parents of two boys, ages 17 months and 4 years. Hence, I am spiritually and intellectually motivated to change my fitness habits in order to promote a lifestyle of wellness to my children.

One of the dimensions of health is spiritual health. For me, good parenting goes beyond moral issues it’s a matter of faith. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he shall not depart from it.” (NASB) From my understanding of this scripture “train” means “to teach”. In most of my classes my teachers lead by example: most health and physical education teachers are physically fit; most English teachers use proper grammar; and most home economics teacher can sew. If I desire to raise good children as my faith instructs me, the insurance that they lead healthy, active lives comes from me leading one. My goal is to eliminate some of the predisposing factors of unhealthy behavior in knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, values, and perceptions (p. 15).

The intellectual side of my wants to be certain that as I live my life I take into consideration the information provided to me. As an African American my race alone predisposes me to certain risks. However, applying what I have learned will most likely increase my life expectancy.

Being physically fit should be more than a goal of aesthetic appeal, although it can be a mitigating factor. Fitness for a healthy lifestyle should be forefront in ones motivation for change as a continuous commitment unlike reaching a milestone of 20 pounds. In project management, once a milestone is reached resources are rallied around the next task at hand. However, in athletic performance – a lifestyle in itself – once a race is won training for the next begins.

Participating in a planned, deliberate exercise regimen promotes cardio respiratory fitness, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, healthy body composition, and functional fitness (p. 108). Exercise improves your mood, reduces psychological symptoms, and sharpens your thinking (p. 111). As a college student and a mother, I need all the extra brain capacity I can get.

Making the change from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one benefits me physically, spiritually, intellectually, and socially.


So Vick's a Pickaninny

Michael Vick Chew ToyAs I was tag surfing this morning I came accross a post that contained a picture of the Michael Vick Dog Chew Toy.  Disgusted at the Samboish caricature of the NFL Star, I clicked on the link to the site marketing it. 

Vick Dog Chew is a site operated by An Animal Abuse Awareness Group with the following claim posted above this degrading picture:


Translation:  We are doing this to get rich but will donate some of the profit to charity if we make enough money.  However, please still buy our product and donate to animal shelters because you like dogs animals more than n!$$@s people who abuse them.

LOOK at the image of the toy.  It is a PICKANINNY!  According to Jim Crow, The Museum of Racist Memorabilia. Ferris State University “The Picaninny Caricature”, “Picaninnies had bulging eyes, unkempt hair, red lips and wide mouths into which they stuffed huge slices of watermelon.”

Should our black athletes be reduced to this?  While I understand how everyone could be dissappointed in Vick for being around and possibly participating in dogfighting, what I don’t understand is why the black community is not supporting him.  He has been accused not convicted and we are fleaing from him like the Black Plague. 

Do we not care about our black men?  If Vick was involved with dogfighting shouldn’t he get the same kind of understanding as Tim Donaghy for fixing games.  Donaghy has a problem; why doesn’t Mike have one?  It’s because he is black — a black man.

Wilkipedia states, “the picaninny was seen as one of a multitude of black children – disregarded and disposable.” I have two sons and they are not to be disregarded and certainly are not disposable. My heart aches for Micheal’s mother because he has beed disregarded by his black family and disposed of by white America, the media, and the NFL.