What's challenging your wellness?
Sadly, America is more overweight than ever. Too much body fat puts you at risk for Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, sleep apnea and stroke.
Obesity can be attributed to:
- Poor food choices
- Increase in daily calorie consumption
- Increase in portion size
- Lack of time
- Meal preparation
- Drive through dining
- Decrease in exercise/physical activity
- Sedentary jobs/lifestyles
- Long commute times
- Too tired to do anything besides watch TV
The terms "overweight" and "obese" are used to identify ranges of weight that are considered unhealthy for a given height and, consequently, represent significant health dangers. An adult with a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 25 and 29.9 is considered "overweight." A BMI score of 30 or higher is identified as "obese." Calculate your BMI.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 66% of American adults are overweight and 30% are obese. Keeping pace with this "fat-pack" is Wisconsin's obesity rate. Up to 25% percent of the state's population is considered to be obese by the CDC's standards.
In addition, where you carry your body fat can be another risk indicator. Individuals with higher fat levels around the middle, rather than the hips, are more likely to have health problems. A waist size of over 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men can raise your chances for disease.
Why does that pesky weight keep finding us? Researchers have found that men and women between the ages of 45 and 55 typically gain about a pound per year. As we age, our energy needs lessen due to a lack of physical activity and a decrease in lean muscle mass. However, it appears that our consumption of calories doesn't change. By consuming more calories than your body uses, you will gain weight.
Lack of exercise or physical activity
Not surprising, a lack of physical activity is closely linked with obesity. And, just like obesity, forgoing regular exercise is a known risk factor for heart disease, diabetes and several forms of cancer.
The CDC recommends that adults participate in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity level activity (equal to a brisk walk) on 5 or more days per week. However, government studies also report that more than half (54%) of U.S. adults do not get this amount of daily exercise.
In addition to the health benefits, regular exercise can increase flexibility and muscular strength, while giving you more energy for work and leisure-time activities. According to the American Heart Association, you can receive 2 additional hours of life expectancy for every hour of regular exercise that you perform.