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Sep 1, 2016

Healthy Living Looks at the Benefits of Family Fitness

It is no secret. Belize – like many other countries across the world – has a problem with obesity.  According to the country’s health statistics, two out of every three adults are either overweight or obese. That is over sixty percent of the population. Why should it matter? Well, obesity – a disease in itself – is linked to the development of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer and other health complications. In addition to the possible health problems, it’s also genetically linked so if you’re obese your children are also at risk as well.  As parents, you can affect the way your child feels about a healthy lifestyle. That’s why in tonight’s Healthy Living we look at the benefits of Family Fitness. 

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

How active is your child? Think about it. At school, they are seated.  Doing homework? Seated again. What do they do for their down time? Watch TV? Play on their electronic device? Of course that includes being seated again. We know that inactive of sedentary lifestyles can severely affect our health as adults or children. That’s why as parents it’s important that you set the example and model an active lifestyle for your kids.


Ed Williams

Ed Williams, Health & Fitness Coach

“The problem as to why, ONE of the problems why we have childhood obesity is because of inactivity. They need more than that, the human body is kinetic. they need to get out and move. Parents have to do some kind of modeling. They don’t have to be perfect. We are not perfect. They have to do some sort of modeling and they have to help kids cultivate a taste of what is good for them. I’m not just talking about foods but I’m talking about that type of activity that they get involved – I did with my dad – is if you can do things together.”


For Ed, he learned to appreciate fitness from his dad and credits that exposure to his continued passion for health and fitness.


Ed Williams

“My dad was a fanatic. And I say so to the extremes in terms of what you put in your body. The main thing is that every morning at five a.m., my dad use to do to the barracks. He us to have a group of guys – sportsmen, Duncan Vernon was a cyclist, XYZ was a boxer, Dickie Gardner, he was a body builder. A bunch of them use to meet there in the morning and run the circular and then jump in the barracks and swim. They would swim and swim and swim. My job as a five year old was to watch their clothes. One day he said “come here” I jumped up and ran and then walked me out of the pier and guess what he did. He pushed me in the water and walked away and that’s how I learned to swim. You can credit your passion for fitness from your exposure as a child? Absolutely. It was like a healthy addiction to me. I got hooked. This was at 5years old up until today at sixty soon to be sixty-one in September. As a child, activities like this that you get to do with your dad or any parent for that matter is really something to look forward to.”


Williams says getting active doesn’t have to be complicated. He says aim for activities that can be done together as a family.


Ed Williams

“We’re talking about two things. Nutrition and lifestyle is seventy percent, exercise is thirty. Now thirty may seem like a little, but that is significant. I like to use the broader term of activities instead of talking about exercise because exercise is just a form of activity and there are many things that we can do. Look at how beautiful marine parade is out here. We’re missing out if we don’t at least once or twice a week take a walk a ride or something out here. You can drive and park and there is a nice park by Baron Bliss and lots of activities that can be done. Another good thing that parents and kids can do is goof around, dance and there is nothing better – no better exercise than cleaning house. You put on some music and pump it up and put on some exercise clothes and you start and bring the kids. Everybody. Get them involved and start cleaning. You’ll be able to do lots of squats and lifts while you pick stuff up and clean. You want to exaggerate the moves and that’s what we do when we work out.”


It doesn’t even matter if you, as the parent, are at your fittest. Children learn by example and if they see parents care about fitness they will too as they grow up.


Ed Williams

“Children are good at following, mimicking and if you model a good behavior for them, good technique, they’ll pick right up on it and do it perfect too. If you establish this as a foundation then kids can build on this.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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