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Podiatrist - Clark, NJ
1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

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By Brandon Macy, D.P.M.
December 10, 2013

Sitting Is the New Smoking I

Everyone knows --or should know that smoking is not good for you. It affects your lungs, your cardiovascular health, your circulation, your skin, your weight, lowers your resistance to disease, it even affects your attitude. What you need to understand is that sitting has precisely the same effect.  A recent article in Parade Magazine cited a study where it was demonstrated that the life span of sedentary people is significantly shorter—no surprise there—but that even overweight people who are active fare much better than slender people who are not active.

This is the first in a series of blog entries where we’ll explore and make recommendations for dealing with this issue in different patient populations.  First we’ll deal with the serious problem of childhood obesity.

Children spending too much time on the computer, cell phone, game console, television--there's little argument that they need to get out and participate in some physical activity. The National Football League is in agreement.  They sponsor the nflplay60 experience, an effort to get kids physically active for at least 60 minutes per day in an effort to combat childhood obesity.

Another article in Parade stated that fit children get better grades in school.  At a Back to School Night I attended when one of my daughters started high school, a teacher said that he loved having students participate in athletics.  Not only was it healthier, he said, but it was a driving force for the students to better budget their time for studies.

What’s the answer? There’s more to the matter than limiting junk food intake.  Encouraging—insisting—on some regular physical activity.  Your child doesn’t have to be a superstar to participate in team sports.  I’ve coached and now referee youth soccer games and there are multiple flights for all levels of skill.  Gymnastics and dance classes are preferred by many as an alternative.  You don’t have to restrict things to one activity, at least not until your child expresses a strong preference for one.

Another idea is to mix in a regular shared activity with your children.  Brisk walks, hiking trails, jogging, bicycling, swimming are a few examples of healthy activities you can share with them.  They grow up so fast—spend as much time with them as you can!

The key lies overcoming the physical law of inertia—the one that says “objects [and people] at rest tend to stay at rest”.  It can be a challenge to develop the good habits in your children.  Besides encouragement and insistence, it would be wise to start by using the principle of SAGE—set a good example!  Get out there and get moving yourself.  “Do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t fly.

How can we be of help? All sorts of problems resulting in foot pain can interfere with the enjoyment of any activity. Our motto at Clark Podiatry Center is “We Keep You Walking”.   It’s about doing our best to relieve foot pain and keep you participating in your favorite activities.

If your feet hurt for any reason, that certainly puts a damper on your enthusiasm and ability to get out there.  The most common problems I encounter in the youth population are ingrown toenails, warts and heel pain, which is most commonly (in children from 9-14) a growth plate injury known as calcaneal apophysitis, or Sever’s Disease.  None of these problems has to be debilitating but, left untreated, each can make your child miserable and reluctant to participate. 

Look around our website for information regarding these or other specific problems you may have encountered.  If you can’t find something that sounds familiar, use the Contact Us link to ask a question.  Or call 732-382-3470 for an appointment.  We’ll fit you into the schedule as soon as possible and then we’ll work together to do what it takes to keep you and your child walking.

Next in the series: Keeping seniors walking, including information about a Fall Prevention program.

 

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1114 Raritan Road
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Podiatrist - Clark, Dr. Brandon Macy, 1114 Raritan Road, Clark NJ, 07066 732-382-3470