The Energy Balance: Power In and Power Out
To be lean and strong, you must balance the amount of food you eat with the amount of food-power you use. If you eat more food than you need, your body changes the extra food into fat and stores it on your body.
Here’s the idea:
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and chemically change it to make it usable for our needs.
Some of it gets turned into the stuff that builds our bodies but much of it is burned to produce energy.
We use this energy to power our bodies and for our everyday movements like breathing, walking and talking.
We can measure how much energy we get from different foods.
Just as we use a “mile” to measure distance and a “pound” to measure weight, we use a “calorie” to measure food energy.
Every day you take in calories from the food you eat and burn them when you move.
Your body is designed to “KEEP MOVING!”
How much time do you spend watching TV, using computers and talking on the phone? If you spend more time sitting than moving around, you may be in for trouble!
Your body is a wondrous machine, but it was designed to keep moving. All the systems run better when the body is active. The blood moves around more easily to deliver nutrients to cells and expel wastes. The lungs bring in more precious oxygen and expel more waste gasses. Physical movement even helps food get through the system more efficiently.
It has never been more difficult to get kids to engage in physical activity as it is today. The video generation slouches in front of TVs, sits for hours mesmerized by fantasy games and communicates (usually superficially via greatly abbreviated text language) via not-so-social computer screens.
There was a time when kids played games like hopscotch, tag, and jump rope not knowing that it qualified as exercise. It was just fun! But hopscotch improved balance and coordination, the constant stop-and-go running in a healthy game of tag elevated heart rate to more efficiently burn calories, and the regular interval in jumping rope pumped the heart steadily and was an efficient form of aerobic exercise.