Health, Fitness and Longeiveity: The Couch Potato Versus The Health Nut

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The United States of America, the beautiful mosaic melting pot offers a ton of diversity from culture, to appearance all the way to cuisine. In our great country, especially in geographical environments that house a variety of ethnicities, food in vast selections are readily available. Not only is homemade food available but we live in a microwave society where fast food restaurants are on every intersection. This shouldn’t be a problem so to say, especially in a world where millions struggle to find proper nutrition and others starve altogether. But it is a problem to say the least.

America has one of the highest obesity rates of modern day, civilized countries with nearly 78 million Americans obese, which translates to nearly one-third of our population. Not only have Americans widened their belt lines but it appears to be negative correlation amongst the two, in turn decreasing lifespan.  The effects of excess weight on the physical body in the long term of life is of particular interest in this article and healthy fitness solutions are presented to help those along their fitness journey.

  • The Black and White: Obesity in America has been on the rise over the past three decades, almost doubling! Over 50 million Americans suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure).

According to the Center for Disease Control, from 2006-2009 Non-Hispanic African Americans were reported to have the highest rates of obesity rates at just about 45%. Close behind were Hispanic Americans who reported a rate of 37%. Non-Hispanic Caucasian rate was about 31%. Asian Americans were excluded.

If we fast forward in time a bit in 2013 the National Center for Health Statistics reported 60% of African American women and 37% of African American males were obese. Hispanics were reported at 40% of men and 44% of women, while Caucasians were reported at 32% for men and 33% for women, respectfully. This study also included Asian Americans who proved to be the most weight conscience group reporting 10% for males and 11% for females. Although disproportions exist amongst racial groups regarding overall obesity rates, these numbers were presented to relay one major message: Obesity is prevalent amongst Americans!

The Grey: The debate, physical fitness or the ‘do nothing, everyone dies someday’ mentality. 

A few measures can be taken to limit the negative effects of obesity and a balanced, exercise driven lifestyle is one measure. Exercise should be completed 4-5 times weekly and an increased heart rate for 30 minutes or more should be the target goal. More sophisticated workout segments will focus on the main regions of the body (i.e. lower body, chest and back, arms and core, etc.).

Just as important as exercise is the type of food being ate to nourish the body. Keep these small tips in mind:

  1. Meats like bacon, tuna, pork and beef stay in your digestive tract the longest…. 5-7 hours on average.
  2. Whole grain breads and scrambled eggs sit on the stomach 3-4 hours
  3. Liquids, especially body temperature fluids pass through the digestive tract the quickest….. 1-2 hours on average.
  4. Fiber and high fiber foods kickstart metabolism and the digestive system
  5. High fat and high grease containing foods sit on the stomach for longer durations of time.
  6. Pre-workouts meals should be 400-500 calories

Finally, never forget the liquid life we have known as water. The human body is nearly 80% H2O itself!

  1. Two, 8-ounce glasses of water in the morning activates internal organs.
  2. One, 8-ounce glass of water before and after a meal may help digestion.
  3. One, 8-ounce glass of water before a shower may help lower high blood pressure.
  4. One, 8-ounce glass of water before bed may help reduce stroke and heart attack.

If you knew what may kill you years from now, would you have the strength to stop it now?

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