Wednesday, May 29, 2013



“No matter how great your idea is, you’re just a lone nut until someone follows you and transforms you into a leader.  Thanks from the bottom of my heart for following me to start the real momentum behind Instant Recess.  Now if every one of us shares this idea with others, we’ll have a real MOVEment on our hands!  That’s my wish for the New Year – that Instant Recess becomes an unstoppable MOVEment helping us to turn around the obesity trends in this country.” 

(from an email sent by Dr. Yancey to colleagues at the beginning of 2013)

                                     Toni Yancey, MD, MPH

Believing that you are on the right track is important, no matter what your goal.  Solving America’s obesity epidemic will be done by setting goals and finding the right track to achieve them.  Have faith that achieving your fitness goal or goals is important for parents.  

How do you get to a healthy weight?  One way is to eat less of the bad foods and more of the good foods.  Another way is to eat smaller portions and to not skip meals and snacks.  You can eat less and exercise more.  To STAY at a healthy weight, however, requires increasing the amount of regular exercise you get.  Without the exercise, most people who lose weight tend to gain it back. This has been verified over and over again in the key habits of successful losers, a national database of people who have lost weight and kept it off for more than a year.

I strongly believe that as parents, we must be good role models for children.   Especially when it comes to fitness.  The funny thing is, when we have a Growing Healthy Kids education project and we talk about what the physical activity recommendations are (60 minutes a day for kids, 150 minutes a week for adults), the kids always ask why the recommendation for adults is less than half what it is for kids.  Great question.  Maybe we would be healthier as a country if adults set the bar higher for their own fitness goals.

Did you know that a minimum of 10 minutes of exercise gives you cardiovascular benefits?  A lot of people I talk with say, “I don’t have any time to exercise.”  What we teach parents is to break your 30 minutes a day recommendation into either three 10 minute or two 15 minute exercise period.  Finding 10 minutes to take a walk then becomes an easy goal to set and keep.

The fact is that most Americans are getting far less exercise than our bodies require to work right.  Many diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, can be prevented by staying at a healthy weight.  Dr. Toni Yancey has been working in the field of public health to educate churches and communities that fitness is essential to the prevention of obesity-related diseases.  She was a nonsmoker who died April 23 at the young age of 55 from a year long battle with lung cancer.  Dr. Yancey believed in short bouts of exercise, just 10 minutes, and she created a MOVEment called Instant Recess because isn't recess the best part of school that everyone looks forward to?  

Dr. Toni Yancey, creator of "Instant Recess"

The Growing Healthy Kids movement to reverse, halt, and prevent childhood obesity pays its respect to Toni Yancey.  We have lost a leader who fought to protect public health.  Her MOVEment and her message lives on.  To learn more about Instant Recess, click here.  

Now, I'm off for 10 minutes of Instant Recess.  On with the walking shoes and that's me out the door!

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich, MPH
Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.