Weight is Not Always an Indicator of Health
Do not be deceived! A healthy weight combined with unhealthy activity levels (meaning a sedentary lifestyle), might keep you at risk. A recent Harvard Health article, discusses the weight deception – how people think that if they’re at the “normal weight,” they’re not necessarily in the clear for heart problems. In fact, about 30% of normal-weight people were just as at risk for heart disease and heart problems as their overweight counterparts, simply because they weren’t getting enough exercise.
The focus on exercise in this country oftentimes is on losing weight and weight in general, but a healthy weight isn’t an indicator, necessarily, of a healthy body. There are healthy bodies at every size.
So, what do we need?
Doctors recommend 150 minutes of exercise per week for adults, and 60 minutes/day for young people ages 6 – 17.
How do we cram so much exercise into an already jam-packed week?
150 minutes isn’t all that much. It’s 22 minutes/day. And consider the average child spends approximately 7.5 hours each day in front of a screen – watching TV, surfing the Web, or playing video games. Finding time to move is more important now than ever.
To celebrate National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, I’m going to give you 10 tips to help you increase your physical activity so you can get out and #MoveInMay. By developing some healthy habits, get moving, get heart healthy.
- Fall in love with movement. Everybody has something they love to do. Find yours!
- Take the stairs. Yes. Always, always, always.
- Can you walk or ride a bike? Do it. Our knee-jerk reaction in the States is to hop in the car. Re-program your brain to think muscle-powered first.
- Get off the bus early. Get off one or two stops before your destination and speed walk the rest of the way.
- Make it a family affair. Take after-dinner walks. Play Frisbee, baseball, or tag in the park. Create a family step-challenge, tracking steps during the day. There are so many ways to involve the family and develop healthier habits.
- Think outside the house. Join a weekend hiking club. Take dance classes. Sign up for swimming lessons. Get involved with the local YMCA.
- Replace coffee time with a walk. Instead of meeting friends at a coffee shop, go for a walk together.
- Talk to schools. For some reason sports and the arts are getting cut in many school districts. Stand up for your kids’ right to stand up and move. Physical activity reduces depression, improves cognitive function, and makes for healthier, smarter kids.
- At the office convince your human resources department to look for ways to work with local sporting goods stores, gyms, and indoor pools.
- Hold yourself accountable for the exercise goals you make. Tell someone. Write them down. Make sure you’re reaching goals you set for yourself.
Developing habits that include daily physical activity will positively impact your health, brain, and quality of life. #MoveInMay and the rest of the year!