Why should I care about physical fitness? Because I want to be happy. I want to fit in. I want to look good. I want to have fun. I want to do well in school. I want to be able to do fun stuff with my friends. I want to play sports. I want to dance. I want to try different things like skiing or hiking or playing in band. I want to be strong. I want to be happy. I want to be successful. I want to stay young as long as I can. I want to be confident. I want to be in control. I want to make my family proud of me. Mostly, I want to be the best person I can be.
I’m smart and I want to be smarter. I know that physical activity can make me stronger and faster and more flexible. I read that researchers think physical activity changes the brain, mostly because it increases the oxygen level which then increases my ability to think clearer and remember stuff better so I can do better in class and on tests. Physical fitness can even change my mood. It can reduce stress and help me avoid being depressed. It’s even supposed to help me sleep better.
Physical fitness is a combination of a lot of things.
- Physical activity. I will do some kind of physical activity for no less than an hour a day. I might break it up, like 15 minutes during lunch and 45 minutes after I get home from school, but it will be at least 60 minutes total. I like sports, especially basketball, but I like hiking and running too so it shouldn’t be too difficult. I will plan an indoor physical activity, maybe jumping rope in the basement, for days it’s too yucky outside.
- I will not be a couch potato. I will not spend more than three hours a day attached to the digital world – computers, smartphones, computer games, social media, or the Internet. If I get bored, I’ll try to convince someone in my family to play a board game or cards.
- Eating well. I promise I will eat more vegetables, especially the dark green ones – at least three cups a day. I’m going to try to have two fruits a day, like apples, oranges, and bananas. I’m going to try different foods too, like avocado and kiwi. I may not like them, but I won’t know unless I try. I won’t eliminate all junk food, but I will cut down to maybe only two times a week.
- I’m going to drink less soda and more water and milk. I read that if you are younger than 9, you should drink two cups of milk a day. If you’re older, it should be three. We need calcium to build strong bones.
- I’m not going to overeat. If I feel full, I will stop. If I put smaller portions on my plate, it will be easier. If I want to, I can always get more. If I take too much, it will waste food.
- I’m going to make a plan and tell my parents and sibs so they can help me. Mom does most of the shopping so it’s important that she knows that I’m trying to become Physically Fit. Maybe they’ll join me for bike rides or hiking instead of just going on a picnic or sitting and watching TV.
I don’t want to be old and out of shape and wondering how I got there. I will find a few things that I like that require physical exertion now so I can be physically fit my entire life.