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Monday, Jan. 16, 2017

A less fit generation

Posted Wednesday, March 17, 2010, at 12:00 PM

Remember P.E. classes in school? Ever wonder if those really made a difference?

According to Army officials, they did.

A news story this week indicates that many new military recruits lack bone and muscle strength due to lack of physical education in school.

I wonder if today's younger people are less physically active in general.

Locally, we tried several times to find photos of people playing in the snow this winter. The day of the deepest snow I found two kids sledding down the hill at the downtown floodgate and found few others outside after driving around several neighborhoods. Other T-G news staff members reported the same results.

And it appears that participation in some youth sports is lower in numbers than in some years past despite a larger population -- even though it could be simply they're scattered between a much larger number of sports.

When I was growing up in the 1970s Shelbyville had football, basketball, baseball, girls softball, high school wrestling and tennis. Cascade restarted high school football during that time to go with the existing basketball programs there and at Community. Shelbyville offered football, basketball and baseball youth leagues. I don't think the youth leagues around the county schools had been founded yet.

And I remember when soccer arrived some football coaches across Middle Tennessee were openly concerned that it would steal some of their prospects. Today, of course, we see that both sports thrive.

More sports, more opportunities, yet less fitness. What's going on with that? More time spent on computers, video games, etc.?

Today's computerized world is great, but just a few minutes of exercise a day could make a real difference.

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David, I too am thrilled with the computer age, even though I still need to get a 7 year-old to help me with programming and that sort of thing.

I grew up in the 40s and at that time there were no organized sports (not even Little League) until Junior High, however, we were always active in Sandlot Baseball, Sandlot Football, Sandlot Basketball, and we competed at everything we did even if it was only throwing rocks at telephone lines. We always played outdoors until the street lights came on or until our parents yelled for us to come in. At that time there was no TV, just radio, and our parents controlled the use of that, as well as controlling the use of the telephone.

In today's world almost every communication device and gaming device that you can dream of is available to our young people.

Where do I place the blame for an unfit generation of kids? I blame it on the parents who should have control of all those devices, and my hands are not lily white because as our kids were growing up I was more permissive than my parents.

-- Posted by leeiii on Wed, Mar 17, 2010, at 2:20 PM

I don't think it has anything to do with sports. It is all about life style.

When I grew up in 60-70s we worked a family farm (which included milking by hand and hauling sguare bales of hay), gardened, slaughtered cattle, cut and burned wood and helped others do the same. We were working all the time.

Now, all the groceries come from Wal-mart or Kroger. A central heat and air unit heats our homes and the small family owned farm has been forced out of business and sold for land development:(

The parents of the children are to blame? That would also include my parents and maybe even theirs Or, you can just chalk it up to progress.

Just how fit does a soldier have to be to launch a missile or fly a remote control airplane anyway?

People in general are lazy and will take the easiest route that exists if they can. Not many people will swim upstream just to get the exercise.

One immigrant on TV probably said it best. He said he came to America because he wanted to be where the poor people are fat.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Wed, Mar 17, 2010, at 3:51 PM

It's not just the kids that are fat and out of shape look around and you will see people of all ages who are out of shape, overweight and lazy.

Progress does tend to make us lazy but I think cost efficient makes us lazy also. If I can go to Wal-Mart and purchase a can of tomatoes for 88 cents I have to consider what it cost me to raise these same tomatoes and can them, not to mention my time has to be worth something.

Take me for example I always loved it when the fresh corn would come in even after we didn't farm any more I would still go to a farmers market and purchase fresh corn: that is until I found this wonderful product at Wal-Mart it was frozen cream corn in a roll package. I tried it and I swear I could not tell the difference in fresh corn. I didn't have to shuck it, clean it or cut it off the cob either and all for 1.33;that is less than a dozen of fresh ears of corn and no waste. And don't have to wait for the corn to come in to have corn and biscuits either :>) Does that make me lazy? Yea probably but it also makes me a smart shopper :>)

And don't even get me started on biscuits:>) I use to make biscuits but you know what I can purchase the pre-made frozen biscuits at the grocery store and they are actually better than mine and cost less in the long run to make.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Mar 17, 2010, at 11:05 PM

I do agree that schools and parents to get their children away from the TVs, PCs and phones and get them outside for awhile. My girls love going outside, and we went outside playing in the snow every chance that we got before and after school. And sometimes for part of their P.E. class, I would let them go out and run around our acre playing in the snow and having snow ball fights.

We go out every day when it's warm. But the sad thing is that even though we live in a neighborhood full of kids, mine are the only ones who regularly go outside and play. During the summer, we are out every single day and sometimes night (running around catching lightning bugs).

-- Posted by PrpleHze on Thu, Mar 18, 2010, at 8:43 AM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.