Leading a colorful life of wellness

By Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, is a Certified Health Coach and a longtime fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center.

By Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach

Several years ago, Olympian Jackie Joynee-Kersee first implemented the slogan, “Put a rainbow on your plate.”  Soon, this phrase was seen on signs in just about every produce department in every grocery store in town.  What a fun way for parents to help their young children visualize the importance of incorporating nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables into their diet! Just at a time in their lives when little ones are into expressing themselves creatively, usually with finger-painting and crayons, the notion of “painting” a dinner plate with a variety of colors from food sources holds high appeal.

It occurred to me recently that, in an effort to increase awareness of fitness and wellness in the lives of young people, perhaps we could use Joyner-Kersee’s model as an inspiration.  How might we strive to put a rainbow into our daily fitness lives? This would have to be accomplished in such a manner as to have appeal across the ages, from grade school through the teen years, and into young adulthood.  Given such abroad range of demographics, this might prove to be a challenge, but not one so daunting as to be unachievable. 

I envision such a “rainbow” as looking something like this:

Resistance-training

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Aerobic exercise

Increasing intensity

Nutrition

Balance

Overcoming obstacles

Winning attitude

If we can somehow present the message of wellness to the young ones in our own lives by living colorfully, perhaps we can guide them to the pot of gold that can always be found at the end of a rainbow. In this case, health is wealth, and living abundantly is worth the raindrops.