21 Aug Why Change To A Healthy Lifestyle
I’m not even quite sure if that is the valid question to ask. The real question should be, “why would you NOT change to a healthy lifestyle?”
Here are some statistics that are quite scary to read (as of 2013):
- Adult Americans age 20 and older, 154.7 million are overweight or obese (BMI of 25.0 kg/m2 and higher)
- Of those adult Americans, 78.4 million are obese (BMI of 30.0 kg/m2 and higher)
- 36.8 million men
- 41.6 million women
- “Total excess cost related to the current prevalence of adolescent overweight and obesity is estimated to be $254 billion.”
- “If current trends in the growth of obesity continue, total healthcare costs attributable to obesity could reach $861 to $957 billion by 2030.”
I believe that food is the most abused drug on the planet. It has the power to either cure most sickness and illnesses, or bring upon those illnesses. Exercise is still one of the most proven methods to help individuals lose weight, become healthier, and improve quality of life.
There is also a ton more benefits of exercise, including lowering blood pressure, increasing high density lipoproteins (HDL= GOOD cholesterol), decreasing blood triglycerides, decreasing risk of cancers, decreasing risk of atherosclerosis, depression, arthritis, and osteoporosis. Another benefit of exercise is that it helps prevent weight gain and enhances fat loss. It also helps you build lean tissue (muscle mass) which in turn, will help raise your RMR (resting metabolic rate), enabling you to eat more quality calories and continue to burn body fat at a better rate.
If you are not already sold on how much exercise can change your life, here a few more benefits that most people tend to over look:
- Enhances sleep
- Exercise improves the release of melatonin (the sleeping hormone which causes you to feel tired) to help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep.
- Boosts energy
- Exercise enhances the degree at which your body delivers oxygen and nutrients.
- Improves mood
- Exercise stimulates the release of various chemicals and endorphins in the brain, and also throughout the body.
It’s been said, “70% nutrition, 30% training”; meaning that nutrition is much more important than exercise. I believe this phrase to an extent, but also believe that it really should be, “100% nutrition, 100% training”. You need to put equal effort into your nutrition as much as you put into your training, and vice versa.
I don’t want to go too into nutrition, as I’m going to save that for another article, but it should be known, and I strongly believe, that processed food and the abuse of sugar, is what is leading to nearly 70% of our total population being overweight or obese, along with the lack of exercise and physical activity.
Processed food is terrible for you, and you should not be consuming any of it. Most processed foods contain trans fats, which cause a spike in cholesterol and lowers high density lipoproteins (HDL). They have a lack of nutrients, which means you are not supplying your body with sufficient vitamins and nutrients throughout the day to help it fight off diseases and cancerous cells. There are a ton of carcinogenic chemicals included in processed food that have been shown to increase your risk of developing cancer. The abundance of empty carbohydrates in foods like candy and doughnuts spike glucose to unhealthy levels and can lead to developing type 2 diabetes over time. The abundance of salt and high fat in processed foods immediately raises blood pressure upon ingestion. Fast food and foods like hot dogs contain unknown fillers and animals parts (it should be clear these things aren’t good for your body).
It’s not about reducing the amount you eat to lose weight and become healthier; it’s about CHANGING the way you eat. It’s about swapping the pop tarts and soda at snack time with an apple and peanut butter; It’s about swapping the fast food stop for dinner with some grilled chicken, sweet potato, and vegetables; it’s about making HEALTHY choices throughout the day, and looking at food as a source of fuel and medicine for your body, BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT IT IS!
Combining exercise with proper nutrition has been shown to literally transform your body, both internally and externally. As you become healthier, your outer appearance will take care of itself. Start focusing on making healthy choices everyday; walk or go to the gym during your lunch break; park further away from the store so you have to walk a bit more; swap unhealthy food for healthier choices; Your body, your mind, and your health will thank you for it!
Paul A Hovan Jr., B.S., NASM CPT, CSN
References : http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise/HQ01676 http://www.invigorate360.com/reviews/top-10-dangers-of-processed-foods/ http://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@sop/@smd/documents/downloadable/ucm_319588.pdf