Summer is here! Time for outdoor activity including SWIMMING! Growing up and into adulthood swimming has been a favorite activity of mine. I love the water. When I was a kid, if there was a pool around, I couldn't wait to get in it. Getting me out of it was a problem! I remember some very pruney fingers and toes and quite a few epic, painful sunburns as well. Now we have the luxury of Sunscreen. Back them it wasn't available. That never stopped me, my cousins or my friends from getting out there and squeezing in every minute of outdoor activity we could during Michigan's short summer. We had no electronic distractions other than the TV, which had 3 channels, to keep us inside. The interactive devices that we used were called books. 

     In today's world, getting kids pried away from their electronic toys is a daunting task. Back in the 1960's it was all our parents could do to keep us inside! In the 1960's and 1970's only 5 to 7 percent of the children in the U.S and 13 percent of adults were obese. Now 17 percent of the children, 32 percent of adult males and 36 percent of adult females are considered obese. The statistics are worse if you are a Black (50%) or Hispanic (45%) woman.

        So what has changed? Lots of things! We eat more in general, more highly processed food in particular and we move around far less.

     Now what are we going to do about it? How about setting a good example for the people around you starting now with a plant based whole foods diet! When you make a change like this and start seeing the dramatic results in just a few months, people notice.  If you have children at home what kind of example are you currently setting for them? When they are young, they are going to follow the path on which you set them. Now think about the kind of example you would like to be setting and get started!

     Personally, I changed over to a whole food diet that is all plants with almost no oil. It took a little over a year for me to lose what turned out to be 103 lbs. just by simply giving up meat, chicken, fish, dairy, eggs and oil.

     Without all that extra weight holding me back I started running a mile at a time just because I could. Now I'm running a mile and swimming a mile 2 or 3 times a week. It bores the heck out of me, but I feel like something good has been accomplished when I finish. It is personal validation that I've chosen a healthy path toward a longer and  healthier future. The exercise is great for my cardiovascular system but it is NOT how I lost weight. That is totally due to converting to an all plant diet.

     We all know what to do. The only question is when will YOU be ready to do it? When I started I was 58 years old. Today I am 61 years young and feel younger every day. Now I have a grandson. He's the cutest! My goal is to watch him grow up to be healthy and strong so he can try and keep up with ME!  ;-)

Dr. Allan Kalmus

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