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Fixin' Healthcare

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Lifestyle Chronicles - One Foot In Front of the Other

Thirty years ago, half of American children walked or rode bikes to school and today less than 15% will walk or ride bikes to school. Some of that decline is due to the conditions such as distance and lack of safe routes. One step to address this situation is the Safe Routes to School Program introduced by US Representative Jim Oberstar from Minnesota. The program calls for $100 million in 2006 to help states construct sidewalks, pedestrian crossings and bicycle parking, as well as slow down and reroute traffic near schools.

The State of Michigan and King County in (Seattle) Washington use land planning to promote healthy lifestyles and physical activity. Walkable communities provide suitable routes to walk and bike but they can go further and establish the necessity to walk or bike. Restricting vehicles with the exception of emergencies from the central city and in the vincinity of schools would be a good start. People need to walk in order to get from here to there. Otherwise, the excuses prevail.

Motion is lotion for the joints and the skin, and inactivity leads to rust. Physical activity is the Fountain of Youth that Ponce de Leon sought. He found it by treking around the countryside but did not recognize the discovery. American society has discarded walking in favor of creams, drugs and surgery. Nothing else exceeds physical activity for the broadest and most positive influence on metabolism and normal function of the body.

One foot in front of the other and soon you are there. It's called walking. Try it, you'll like it.

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