This is an ongoing debate, and obviously both body weight and fitness are important.
It seems intuitive to me that if you’re healthy and fit you’ll live a long healthy life, and if you’re out of shape and obese, you’re likely to die a premature death. On the other hand, you hear of people that are perfectly fit and healthy dying young.
Additionally, fatness or obesity does significantly reduce fitness levels. Part of the problem comes from measuring fatness. If you’ve heard of the BMI (body mass index) gauge, you know that it’s a rough estimate that gauges, based on your height and weight, if you’re fit or fat. For the most part, the BMI scale is a good measure of body fat. But for some people, it couldn’t be more incorrect. People such as weightlifters, bodybuilders, and some professional athletes, may have a high BMI but are perfectly healthy.
As you may or may not know, muscle weighs more than fat. So if you have a person that weighs 130 pounds with a body fat percentage of 25% vs a person with a body fat percentage of 10% that also weighs 130 lbs, the 10% person is likely to be much fitter then the other. In this instance, the BMI might show that you’re overweight, when in fact you’re actually quite healthy.
There is a thing called metabolically healthy obesity (MHO). This basically states that you currently don’t show any signs of cardiovascular issues, even though you might be considered overweight or obese. The problem with this is, over time, about half of individuals in this MHO range, do develop cardiovascular issues. So at a point in time, you may not be showing any signs, but as you age, “the devil gets his due” if you will. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since as we age, we tend to weaken. Both physically, and with our immune systems.
The bottom line is that MHO doesn’t really exist. Or at least over an extended period of time.
How to Reduce Obesity
If you’re currently overweight, you probably already know what you need to do, to get your BMI in the healthy range. You need to eat correctly, and you need to start partaking in a daily exercise regiment.
The good thing about eating correctly is, for some people, this is all you need to do, do dramatically reduce your body fat percentage. By skipping the sodas, the fast-food, and the sugary snacks, the body fat will start to fall off. Replace these with lean protein such as chicken, turkey, and fish. And as your mother told you when you were a kid, eat your vegetables. The final piece of eating correctly is consuming healthy fats. Things like avocados, almonds, nuts, and seeds are allowed.
If you’re just starting out or a beginner, simply taking daily walks is a great start. You don’t need to go all out and join a gym (though that is an option) and get a trainer to get started. Over time you want to increase the duration and the intensity of your daily exercise. If you can maybe start running a few times a week and mix in some resistance training. If you like to work out at home, simple bodyweight exercises are a great start. Again, over time your body will get stronger and adapt, which means you’ll need to pick up a dumbbell or two at some point. But this should serve as motivation to your improvement, and to keep going.
Few More Tips for Reducing obesity:
- Drink plenty of fluids every day
- Get close to 8 hours of sleep every night
- Keep track of what you’re eating.
- Move daily, even if it’s small short exercises
- Get a work out partner
- Track your exercises, so you can see your improvements
- Listen to music or podcast while you exercise
- Try intermittent fasting
- Increase your protein intake with protein shakes
- Stretch every morning
If you’re currently overweight or obese, yet you feel fine, studies show it might be a short-lived feeling. If you stay on that path, the likelihood of developing severe health-related issues like high blood pressure and diabetes increases. There are things you can do to mitigate those risks, like eating healthier and working out. Once you get started and start to see improvements, it can get easier. It may be the best decision you’ve ever made. For more articles on how to be healthy and fit, check out more blogs at thetonedwoman.com.