I NOW HAVE PERSONAL PROOF – PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IS THE ‘MIRACLE DRUG’
If you know me, I am one of the world’s greatest advocates to get kids more active for improved physical and mental health. For years I have preached and shared the facts surrounding the compelling research gathered by experts, and often list all the 12 benefits of physical activity on our charity’s website, PHITAmerica.org. I know what we advocate is real and backed up with extensive, medical and scientific research. Here is where everything comes full circle and the reality set in for me, the Founder of PHIT America. I can now testify how I experienced the downfall of inactivity. Up until around 8
months ago, I was active and fairly fit; riding a bike two times a week, golfing two to three days a week and having a personal trainer 3 days a week, plus walking my dog a couple times a day. I was as you could say, ‘alive’ and living like I did for most of my life. I was also living my life like I want kids to do…being active every day.
Then, after years of wear and tear, my body started to break down. My right knee and shin
was totally sedentary…just like kids in America. I was on my back and doing what almost all kids are doing today, only moving my fingers and thumbs with electronic devices or a TV remote.
Guess what happened?
I visited a place I never went to before – HELL.
My body shut down – I was lazy, simply not functioning, and totally sedentary for six months. I sat around and ate too much. I put on weight. I did not have a cardio workout for six months! But this was only one part of what I know now as “Hell”. My brain wasn’t working as well. People have said, “Jim works at Baugh speed”. But for most of these six months, my brain was moving very slowly. I don’t know what depression is, but I am guessing I was depressed multiple times. I was not motivated. I was sad. It was hard to work — and people know I love to work. This was a terrible feeling, something I have never experienced before. Even my digestive system slowed down. I became a great customer of Colace. I often said to myself, “If this is what happens later in life, I don’t want it”.
This was pure “Hell”…especially as I look back now.
After my hip surgery rehab, I started to ‘live’ again. I got more active. I was able to ride a bike again, walk my dog. I have played a few rounds of golf. My body and my mind were alive again. My desire to work came back. My creativity came back. My ‘fire’ came back. My ‘passion’ came back. My digestive system even got moving again. No more Colace! Wow. Life is fun again! All of this was due, in my opinion, to increasing physical activity to move out of “Hell”.
Then the lightbulb went off. ‘I was living for 6 months just like the majority of kids in America’. They are in hell and don’t even know it. Why? Because they have never been real active. They don’t know any better. They have been sedentary their whole life. It is no wonder kids’ academic performance has dropped. It is no wonder kids are depressed. It is no wonder why kids are overweight. It is no wonder why so many kids (and adults) are dependent on drugs to make them feel better. USA kids are ranked last in physical health and 47th out of 50 countries in fitness. They are in bad shape and they only know what life is when you are very sedentary.
As former CDC Chief Dr. Thomas Frieden has said, “Physical Activity is the Wonder Drug”.
But, here is the crime. No one is listening. We are not giving the gift of physical activity to kids! I am now more driven than ever to help 50 million children in America get more active, fit and healthy through my charity, PHIT America. Yes, 50 million kids need real help. 90% of USA Kids are not active to CDC physical activity standard. They are in bad shape but don’t know any better.
I can honestly say now, “Parents and America are irresponsible if they don’t get our kids much more active. The benefits are unreal. Our government is irresponsible if they don’t insist every kid get 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Educators are irresponsible if they don’t offer kids 5 days of Physical Education taught by a certified PE teacher…not just for their physical health, but for improved academic results also. We have found 15 research projects showing this is true but educators have had the wrong priorities. Physical activity IS the Miracle Drug. Let’s get all kids hooked on it….for life-long health and happiness. If we don’t do this, I have failed in my life. And disappointedly, all of you have too.
It is not too late to get our kids out of hell. If you want to help…help America, contact me. Our charity is easy to work with. We have sponsor levels for everyone – individuals, companies, foundations, or wealthy individuals. Join our team! For our kids. For our country. For our future. Contact me at Jim@PHITAmerica.org.
Jim Baugh, Founder, PHIT America
Jim Baugh is the former President of Wilson Sporting Goods. He has been inducted into two hall of fames – The Sports Industry Hall of Fame and Tennis Industry Hall of Fame. He was also the VP of Sales and Marketing at Prince. Jim has been a leader in the sports business world and for caring about the physical and mental health of children. Jim has studied children, how active they are and the factors to help them become more physically active. He has started two charities, PE4Life and PHIT America. PHIT America has already helped over 850,000 children in over 1500 schools. Ironically, Jim’s first job while he was in grad school was a PE Teacher. For more information on Jim, go to Jim.PHITAmerica.org.