To Beat Obesity and Achieve Health Revisit “The Strenuous Life”


Col. Theodore Roosevelt. Crop of Image:Theodor...

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“I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes, not to the man who desires mere easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship, or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Old Fashioned Lawn Mowers

Image by Jennuine Captures via Flickr

Last week, I was taking care of my girlfriend’s yard when the above quote came to mind. I use a manual, human powered, push mower and non-mechanical hedge clippers.  I edge the lawn using hand held clippers.  I worked for three hours in beautiful sunshine with the only scent in the air being that of  fresh cut grass. There were neither lung chocking emissions, nor noise  of  motors nor engines to spoil the idyllic day.

A neighbor happened by and asked me about my non-mechanically aided endeavorer. I stated it was not only enjoyable, but there was something very fulfilling to accomplish a task utilizing nothing but the strength of my body.  The person said, “But sometimes it is just better for work to be easier.”   I disagreed, however, I seem to be in the minority.

In today’s society we seem to have slipped into a false truth — that if it is easier, it is better. We have remote controls for everything; the television, garage door, fans and even air conditioners all have little devices so we no longer must heft ourselves out of our comfy seats and move. Hell, if you count the clapper, we don’t even have to get off of our rear-ends to operate a light switch.

Go out in public and you will find doors that open automatically, two-story shopping malls with escalators and you need but a wave of the hand to start water flowing from a sink or dispense a paper towel. We don’t even have to flush the toilet.

In society today it seems that we are always looking for the path of least resistance. The path that takes the least amount of work is the path most chosen. Even in the gym, where people are working out to get more fit, one can observe the same pattern. If say a person wants to use 50 pound dumbells for an exercise, but the weight is not there, many will go down to the 45′s instead of up to the 55′s.

Why not, while using proper form and safety precautions, test one’s self and go up in weight a bit?  Why not make it tad harder?

We are bombarded by marketing ploys that are supposed to make being healthy easy. Products will help us lose weight without any effort, they even market exercise machines that will magically produce results with little to no effort. Isn’t the point of exercise to promote effort?

Everywhere you travel foods of convenience dot the landscape.  Sugar filled, carbohydrate loaded junk is marketed and often promoted as health food.  Atkins, Low Carb, Paleolithic and Primal diets are dismissed by “doctors” and “experts” who receive income from the industries that are destroying health.

We have moved away from the “Strenuous Life” President Theodore Roosevelt so extolled.

Cover of

Cover of The Strenuous Life

Our schools continue to cut out recess and shortened gym classes, yet President Roosevelt used his belief in the strenuous life to overcome childhood ailments. He strongly believed in the adage that a fit mind requires a fit body to house it. He exercised, engaged in sport, he even skinny dipped in the Potomac River during the winter. While even under the best conditions I would never consider swimming in the Susquehanna River as it runs along the Pittston to Wilkes-Barre corridor, I admire Teddy’s attitude and drive when it came to pursuing The Strenuous Life.

Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...

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Our current President took more than a year to fill positions on The President’s Council on Physical Fitness, Sport & Nutrition. So, as the First Lady was admirably campaigns to increase awareness of childhood obesity, the President Barack Obama delayed action on the council that was founded to encourage American children to be healthy and active.  Am I missing something?

In his 1899 address before the Hamilton Club, in of all places Chicago, Teddy Roosevelt asked the question, “Who among you would teach your boys that ease is to be the first consideration in their eyes—to be the ultimate goal after which they strive?

It seems that by today’s standard, the answer would be; most. Thanks to the conveniences of modern society life is easier.  However, considering the soaring obesity rates, both adult and childhood, are the results of ease worth the price?

So I ask the question  — Are we teaching our young men and women to strive for ease? If we are — How much damage are we doing?

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Chiropractor, Dr. Joe Leonardi is the author of the life changing book; Fat Then Fit Now;  A life beyond weight loss.

Dr. Joe Leonardi is available to appear on any talk radio, internet podcasting or television outlet. He has appeared on Public Television WVIA’s State of Pennsylvania and Call the Doctor; Entercom’s Outlook on Northeast PA with Shadoe Steele, Citadel Broadcasting’s Sunday Magazine with Brian Hughes, Lisa Davis’ Your Health Radio; Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb podcast; Hank Garner’s Podcast, Dr. Robert Su’s Carbohydrates Can Kill Podcast.

Dr. Joe Leonardi also will come and speak to your group; to learn more about his motivational speaking fees and availability contact him at fatthenfitnow@me.com

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September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month! Who Knew?


I was doing my usual perusing of internet articles and news stories on obesity, when I came across an article that stated, September, this month is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.  With summer winding down, school starting and the Labor Day holiday, this very important information seemed to get lost in the mix and it should not have.  Among the many issues we set aside a special month for, defeating childhood obesity is perhaps one of the most important.

Barack Obama President of the United States of...

Image by London Summit via Flickr

I reviewed the relevant news information and learned that President Obama did in fact kick off the month with a proclamation.  I read over the reports on the proclamation and found this particular line interesting.  From TheHill.com, “By taking action to address the issue of childhood obesity,” the president said, “we can help America’s next generation reach their full potential.”

I find this political hypocrisy on a grand scale.  Yes, I am aware that the President of the United States has many pressing issues that he has mishandled since his election.  However, this one is a no-brainer and yet, his inaction on childhood obesity is epic.

Michelle Obama, official White House portrait.

Image via Wikipedia

Time and time again the President has only given lip service to The First Lady’s signature initiative.

Two prime examples of the President’s insincerity come immediately to my mind.

One brings us all the way back to the President’s first year in office, it took him just about one year to fill positions on the President’s Council on Fitness, Sport and Nutrition.  I understand that ceremonial positions have no genuine power, however, the lack of concern in filling these positions demonstrates a lack of importance, and in turn lack of regard the President has for the health and fitness of this nation.  This President places so much importance on reforming health care and providing care, he totally dismisses the importance of maintaining health.  Childhood and adult obesity are becoming more and more prevalent in the last several years, yet, instead of focusing on one of the most dominant preventable causes of many diseases, the President chose to place this council on the farthest back burner he could locate.

Official photograph portrait of former U.S. Pr...

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Second, and just as disturbing, if not more, is President Obama’s complete lack of leading by example when it comes to proper eating and exercise.  I did a Google search for President Obama and exercise, the bulk of the results hadn’t revealed any recent coverage except for mentioning that the President was sometimes playing basketball.  The majority of the stories date back to 2008.  For all of his predecessor’s many failings, President George W. Bush made his personal health and fitness a high priority.  His scheduled exercise times were often used to show how disconnected the former President was, instead of lauding him for his dedication to maintaining his wellness in even the most stressful times.  Additionally, there is the crap for food that President Obama is consistently shoveling into his body.  Often times his dietary choices are foods that are better to have never been conceived, let alone prepared, much less consumed, yet he is photographed gleefully gorging himself.

Seal of the President of the United States

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Again, I understand that the President of the United States of America has many very real and very pressing issues and situations that require his attention, however, is it really too much to ask that a leader lead through example?  The President has access to fitness equipment and a culinary staff that will prepare him low carbohydrate and extremely healthy meals.  Is it really all that difficult to make 60-90 minutes a day to exercise (especially when his office is downstairs from his residence) and to provide his body with healthy fuel?

It is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, instead of simply being aware, let’s do something our political class seems extremely unable or incapable of doing —- let’s take some action!

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Chiropractor, Dr. Joe Leonardi is the author of the life changing book; Fat Then Fit Now;  A life beyond weight loss.

Dr. Joe Leonardi is available to appear on any talk radio, internet podcasting or television outlet. He has appeared on Public Television WVIA’s State of Pennsylvania and Call the Doctor; Entercom’s Outlook on Northeast PA with Shadoe Steele, Citadel Broadcasting’s Sunday Magazine with Brian Hughes, Lisa Davis’ Your Health Radio; Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb podcast; Hank Garner’s Podcast, Dr. Robert Su’s Carbohydrates Can Kill Podcast.

Dr. Joe Leonardi also will come and speak to your group; to learn more about his motivational speaking fees and availability contact him at fatthenfitnow@me.com

———————————————————————————————————————

When Did Avoiding Strenuous Work Become Admirable?


Troosevelt

Image via Wikipedia

“I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes, not to the man who desires mere easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship, or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Yesterday I was taking care of my girlfriend’s yard when the above quote came to mind.  I use a manual, human powered push mower and non-mechanical hedge clippers.  I edge the lawn using hand held clippers.  I worked for three hours in beautiful sunshine with the only scent in the air being that of  fresh cut grass. There were no emissions, nor noise  of  motors or engines to spoil the idyllic day.

A neighbor happened by and asked me about my non-mechanically aided endeavorer. I stated it was not only enjoyable, but there was something very fulfilling to accomplish a task utilizing nothing but the strength of my body.  The person said, “But sometimes it is just better for work to be easier.”   I disagreed, however, I seem to be in the minority.

In today’s society we seem to have slipped into a false truth — that if it is easier, it is better. We have remote controls for everything; the television, garage door, fans and even air conditioners all have little devices so we no longer must heft ourselves out of our comfy seats and move. Hell, if you count the clapper, we don’t even have to get off of our rear-ends to operate a light switch.

Go out in public and you will find doors that open automatically, two-story shopping malls with escalators, you need but a wave of the hand to start water flowing from a sink or dispense a paper towel. We don’t even have to flush the toilet.

In society today it seems that we are always looking for the path of least resistance. The path that takes the least amount of work is the path most chosen. Even in the gym, where people are working out to get more fit, one can observe the same pattern. If say a person wants to use 50 pound dumbells for an exercise, but the weight is not there, many will go down to the 45′s instead of up to the 55′s.

Why not, while using proper form and safety precautions, test one’s self and go up in weight a bit?

Why not make it harder?

We are bombarded by marketing ploys that are supposed to make being healthy easy. Products will help us lose weight without any effort, they even market exercise machines that will magically produce results with less effort.  Isn’t the point of exercise to promote effort?

We have moved away from the “Strenuous Life” President Theodore Roosevelt so extolled.

Our schools continue to cut out recess and shortened gym classes, yet President Roosevelt used his belief in the strenuous life to overcome childhood ailments. He strongly believed in the adage that a fit mind requires a fit body to house it. He exercised, engaged in sport, he even skinny dipped in the Potomac River during the winter. While I would never consider swimming in the Susquehanna River as it runs along the Pittston to Wilkes-Barre corridor in anything less than a bio-hazard suit, I admire Teddy’s attitude and drive when it came to pursuing the strenuous life.

Our current President took more than a year to fill positions on The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. So, while the First Lady was admirably campaigns to increase awareness of childhood obesity, the President of the United States delayed action on the council that was founded to encourage American children to be healthy and active.  Am I missing something?

In his 1899 address before the Hamilton Club, in of all places Chicago, Teddy Roosevelt asked the question, “Who among you would teach your boys that ease is to be the first consideration in their eyes—to be the ultimate goal after which they strive?

It seems that by today’s standard, the answer would be yes. Thanks to the conveniences of modern society life is easier.  However, considering the soaring obesity rates, both adult and childhood, are the results of ease worth the price?

So I ask the question  — Are we teaching our boys and girls to strive for ease? If we are — How much damage are we doing?

———————————————————————————————–

Chiropractor, Dr. Joe Leonardi is the author of the life changing book; Fat Then Fit Now;  A life beyond wight loss.

He is available to speak  to any school, association or group. He will make himself available to any talk radio, internet podcasting or television outlet. He has appeared on Public Television WVIA’s State of Pennsylvania and Call the Doctor; 94.3 FM’s Tough Talk With Joe Peters; Lisa Davis’ Your health radio; Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb podcast; Hank Garner’s Podcast.

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Podcast #16 Thanksgiving, No Diet Day


In this podcast we will discuss how to eat properly on the Thanksgiving holiday.  You may be surprised.

Please click the below link to listen:

Podcast #16 Thanksgiving Eating