I was annoyed at first. So, now SITTING is bad for me? Already I have to eat right and exercise, by now I can’t even sit down?
Tara Parker reported in The New York Times about a study published in May in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. It concluded that men who sat for many hours a week had a much greater risk for heart problems than men who sat less. This was true even for the men that exercised. If someone sits at work all day and then sits in front of the TV at night, it damages the body, even if they go to the gym over their lunch hour.
Oh, no! Don’t we all sit in front of the computer for work now? And then we watch our Tevo’d programs at night? Pretty soon we’ll do it all through a headset providing a portal to a completely digital world and we won’t have to move our bodies at all, right?
Then I thought about it again. Maybe this isn’t such bad news after all. Another way to look at it is that we can be healthier just by taking a walk. We don’t need to run a marathon or eat only raw food, we just need to get off the couch and move around. Hey, I can do that. My kids can do that too.
And there is more good news. I live in Austin, Texas. The weather is nice for ten and a half months out of the year and there are dozens of creeks running through the center of town that are so beautiful they belong in a National Geographic special.
And hiking is free.
And it is fun.
And it is good for you.
And it gives your kids a habit that might say with them for a long time.
And all of these things don’t happen all together very often.
But, I have small kids, and I know something that seems like it should be easy isn’t always easy. Where is a trail head near my house? Is it OK for smaller kids? What if I have a baby and a stroller? What should I bring? How do my toddlers share the trial with runners and bikers?
I learned a little bit at a time about hiking with little kids and I collected the information I know at LittleKidsHike.com. Find easy-to-use maps, trail head descriptions and pretty pictures, to find just the right hike for you and your kids.
So, go take a walk. Your heart will thank you. Your kids will thank you. And you’ll have fun along the way.
About the Author: Carol Ramsey lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and three daughters, 2, 3 and 14. She is a software project manager and in her free time (?!?!?), she writes at GrowingUpAustin.com.