It’s okay to indulge every once in a while

With Halloween coming up there are many factors to consider as a parent, and

although I have a few years to go before my little guy goes out – it does

make me think.

Last year I wrote an article about whether or not to have all that candy at

once, or spread it out. You can still read it here:

Central Music Festival Appreciation Day this Saturday

We just finished holding our second annual Zombie Run here in Sylvan Lake, as a

fundraiser for local high school teams.

We had a lot of kids out as zombies and they had so much fun running around scaring the runners. We ordered pizza and drinks for the volunteers and one thing that struck me this year was how fast we ran out of food and had to order more. We ordered enough pizza for 240 people.

We had 200 volunteers, and we ran out of food.

Why? Fresh air and exercise – those kids were running around for all they

were worth, for nearly four hours, and they got hungry.

For Halloween I see lots of parents now that drive their kids house to

house, and I find that sad. When I was a kid – we walked all night until

our pillowcase was full, and sometimes we came home, emptied it and went

out again. From a nutrition standpoint – not great, but from an

exercise point of view – fantastic!! I know that things have changed they

say, and that we need to be cautious and things were safer back 30 years

ago, but still, I say let ’em walk! In fact, I love to see the parents that

walk with them.

Sure, all that sugar and junk food isn’t great, but it is fun, and it is part of being a kid in my opinion, and if you make the kids (and parents) walk several kms, at least they are burning fuel, and less likely to be overweight in life. Thirty one per cent of Canadians aged five to 17 are overweight or obese, Statistics Canada found in the latest studies, as reported on CBC. Reading that, one could be tempted to cancel Halloween, but I think that would be a mistake. I think that teaching kids about

proper nutrition on a regular basis, and that once in a while, we indulge –

creates a life of balance.

Back 50 years ago, kids only got sugary junk food for the big events – Christmas, Easter, your birthday and Halloween.

That isn’t going to ruin anybody, but our problem is multiple layers now:

junk food is everywhere, sugar can be eaten every day without limits, and

instead of exercising all the time, we have improved school bus service,

drive everywhere and watch TV, computer or tablet screens all day. We need to move our bodies – and so I vote that we have a great Halloween, and

that we all walk as far as we can to earn that candy.

Then have a day or so to eat it, toss the rest out, and eat healthy food until Christmas.

Scott McDermott is a personal trainer and owner of Best Body Fitness in Sylvan Lake.

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