Turn on your TV or visit your internet browser homepage and there is bound to be news of the Olympics. The number of sports is astounding! The theme of this year's Summer Olympics is "Inspire a Generation." Globally, people have become more sedentary; their diets have changed considerably and consequently there is a rise in obesity and the health trappings that ride on the coat tails of being overweight.
The Olympics not only serve to showcase the very best athletes from around the world, but are now engaged in an international push to reel in the overconsumption of food and lack of exercise that is currently plaguing millions of people.
Michelle Obama launched the "Let's Move" project in 2008. The mission is simple, to get people, namely children and their families, to partake in healthy eating and exercise. This year the program has dovetailed with the Olympics, and there are several "Let's Move MeetUps" planned throughout the summer, throughout the United States.
These "Let's Move MeetUps" can be found on the popular social site, Meetup.com. Here you can find a variety of free or low-cost activities from archery to jump-roping, evening family roundups, or beach boot camps. The idea is to use the back drop of the Olympics as a source of inspiration to get people excited to move, to mine their own potential to be an athletic person.
A healthy lifestyle takes time to develop. Fortunately we have an international support system that seeks to nurture healthful eating, active family life, and forms of lifelong, enjoyable exercise. With so many options, canoeing, trampolining, volleyball, skeet-shooting, wrestling, swimming, diving, track and field, it's hard to imagine not finding something a person would like to try.
Let this Summer's Olympics inspire you and if you're already inspired, share that inspiration. Bring the international and national sentiments to your backyard to create a healthier world. As Gandhi said, "Be the change you wish to see."
In good health,
Heidi Aspen Lauckhardt-Rhoades
Writer and Social Media Correspondent