Most women are not happy with the image that stares back at them in the mirror. We have all heard the complaints, I need to lose ten lbs, I wish my stomach was flatter, why are my hips so big and that is within our own minds and does not count the thousands of conversations that take place among girlfriends across the country every day.
But for many, it is not just 10 lbs in fact, they are a part of the obesity epidemic that is crippling the health and wellness of our nation. I know I was one of these statistics at 310lbs.
The CDC has published that as early as in 1990, among states participating in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, ten states had a prevalence of obesity less than 10% and no states had prevalence equal to or greater than 15% of their population. Obese is being defined as a BMI, body mass index, above 30, or about 30 lbs. overweight for 5’4” person.
In 1999, just nine short years later, no state had prevalence less than 10%, eighteen states had a prevalence of obesity between 20-24%, and no state had prevalence equal to or greater than 25%.
Fast forward ten years to 2009, only one state (Colorado) and the District of Columbia had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. Thirty-three states had prevalence equal to or greater than 25%; nine of these states (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia) had a prevalence of obesity equal to or greater than 30%. That’s right, 30% or one-third of these state’s populations are obese.
If we do not reverse these trends, where will we be ten years from now? What about the rising epidemic of obesity in our children? It has been noted through the School Nutrition Association that this may be the first generation that on average will not outlive their parents. This has also become a special mission for the first lady Michele Obama who was quoted at the CNIC – Child Nutrition Industry Conference in Washington, January 2011, this epidemic can also become a threat to national security because as a nation we will not have enough potential enlistees because of the simple fact they will not be able to pass the physical exams for entry into our military. Scary thought.
If we can help adults understand and embrace activity and wellness in the home we may be able to make a small dent into the need for family wellness. Not to mention the dollars spent in medical bills and insurance benefits for those who will not suffer from obesity related health issues.
Enough with the doom and gloom how can we start to reverse these conditions starting today. This seems like a good place to start with some of the current guidelines for healthy adults from the American Heart Association:
The average adult needs to engage in moderate, increasing your breathing and heart rate with aerobic exercise for 30 minutes, 5 days a week or vigorous aerobic exercise for 20 minutes, 3 days a week; in addition to adding strength training 2 days a week.
Wow, may seem like a lot if you are not currently doing any form of exercise but there is good news, which ties back to my philosophy of moving just a little more every day.
There has been a change since 1995 which indicates that short bouts of exercise of at least 10 minutes can be added up to the total time needed. So moving just 10 minutes 3 times a day, will help put you on the path to a healthier lifestyle; here are some tips: choose to walk up the stairs instead of the elevator, walk at lunch with co-workers, and play with the kids after dinner. You can do that, I know you can!
You can check out your park district for program offerings, such as Zumba or yoga. It can be as simple as getting a group together and be each other’s accountability buddies, meeting for a walk at lunch or in the mornings before work. If you need a little help with the motivation, of course if you are local you can call me and I can help develop a program for you. You can also go online to www.inerTRAIN.com and enter promo code trainerTRIAL for a free two week trial of online personal training to help guide you in the comfort of your own home or motel room, for all my business travelers. The key is to find something you love to do and make it a habit. If you want coaching wonderful, if you love to dance, dance your heart out. The key is to get moving, keep moving and live each day to its fullest.