As I was reflecting on the mission of this blog, it dawned on me that some of you haven’t completely bought into the idea of getting on the health and wellness bandwagon. Sure, we’ve all read, heard, and seen the dismal stats on the nation’s health, but what does it really all mean? Does it really apply to me? There is some bad news – really, really, bad news. Conversely, there is a lot of good news about what we can do. So I’m going to make a sandwich for you. Bad news-good news-bad news-good news etc. etc. It will be a Dagwood (gianormous) sandwich of news!
Bad news: Our Nation is getting bigger – not in a good way. As reported by Web MD, July 8, 2009 — A new CDC report shows that the nation’s waistline is still growing, or holding steady in some states, but not shrinking at all. The CDC yesterday released its latest obesity statistics, based on interviews conducted last year with more than 400,000 U.S. adults who reported their height and weight. Overall, 26.1% of U.S. adults were obese in 2008, compared to 25.6% in 2007, according to a CDC news release.
Good news: It doesn’t have to be this way! We, as individuals or families, do not need to contribute to this trend. Setting and meeting the goal of safely losing as little as 10% of your body weight , if you are overweight, can bring tremendous health benefits.
Bad news: The US department of Health and Human Services reports that being overweight during childhood and adolescence increases the risk of developing high cholesterol, hypertension, respiratory ailments, orthopedic problems, depression and type 2 diabetes as a youth. One disease of particular concern is Type 2 diabetes, which is linked to overweight and obesity and has increased dramatically in children and adolescents.
Good news: We have a chance to be our children’s lifeguard! We have a priceless opportunity to set our youth on the right track by modeling a healthy lifestyle and creating an environment that supports good choices.
Bad news – According to the World Health Organization, a sedentary lifestyle is one of the 10 leading causes of death and disability. It accounts for 300,000 premature deaths each year in the United States alone. These deaths are mainly from cardiovascular disease — something for which people with diabetes and pre-diabetes are at a much higher risk than others.
Good news: The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that 30 minutes of moderate activity 5 days a week for adults and 1 hour of age appropriate daily activity for children. These activities contribute to a healthy lifestyle and can set you on the right track.
The extra-awesome news is that the 30 minutes of activity can be accumulated over the day in as little as 10 minute chunks of time. Just find 10 minutes 3 times a day and you are golden! That is one big news sandwich.
To check where you rank in terms of the “O” word (obesity), there are lots of BMI – Body Mass Index calculators. It calculates your measurement based on your weight and height.
One I have used is http://health.discovery.com/national-body-challenge/interactives/tools/calculators/bmi.html
Now don’t get your underpants all bunched up if you show up as overweight or obese. Nothing good comes of someone all flustered. BMI doesn’t differentiate between lean mass and fat mass. Many athletes have results that put them in the overweight category when they are quite obviously not overweight. Now’s the time to get honest with yourself. Are you overweight or are you an athlete or do you have an athletic build? Hmmm. Chances are you know. How much work do you have to do? Take it one step at a time. Little by little you will reach your goal if you commit to it. Be smart and do it slowly and safely. You have control. Do not forget that only you are in charge of your choices. I know this is supposed to be a “Not so serious wellness” blog, but this is serious business. Make the commitment to choose a healthy lifestyle so you can live well. I’m here to give you ideas, motivation and support on this journey we are on together. I’m also here to let you know that I’m imperfect and have struggles. I’m keenly aware that misery loves company and I want you to know that the Kuhels are struggling right alongside you. You don’t need a personal trainer (although I will be available shortly :0) ) , an expensive gym membership, a personal chef, an organic farmer living next door, an adorable workout ensemble, a $500 treadmill/elliptical or all the other things you might have told yourself you needed to be healthy. Sure all these things might make it easier, but they should not be what stands between you and your health. My family is a work in progress. This is a lifelong trip and it has hills and valleys and it truly only ends with our last breath. What’s the quality of your life and your family’s life going to be?
Until next time… Live Well! – Toni Kuhel