Fighting the Obesity Epidemic
A Health Crisis of Epic Proportions
Children and adults everywhere are facing a serious health crisis as many people today are overweight, malnourished, and inactive. While many individuals try to lose weight and keep it off, not everyone is successful, as the reports of weight gain continue to rise. For this reason, doctors and even the government are taking a stand to tackle the issue of obesity.
Calculating Body Mass Index (BMI)
Calculating a person's BMI (Body Mass Index) is a vital first step in weight management. The body mass index scale is a relatively new way to calculate a person's body fat and health risks. According to the scale, a rating between 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight and and a BMI rating of 30 and above is considered obese.
The Five Classifications of Obesity
People who are overweight tend to fall into five categories:
- The Staying Overweight: People who are aware of their obesity, yet won't do anything about it or don't care to take action.
- Yo-Yo'ers: People who are overweight and are able to lose weight through dieting, only to gain it back (or more) with each cycle of weight loss.
- The Finally Not Overweight: People who diet and exercise hard to lose weight, and finally lose, and keep, most of the weight off. Once thinner, they may always have an overweight person's physiology, so they may have to take different steps to ensure sustained weight loss.
- The Blindly Overweight: People who don't consider themselves to be overweight and aren't trying to lose weight.
- The Feeling Overweight: Someone of an average or lean build who is trying to lose a few extra pounds.
It Pays to Exercise
While diet is an important factor of weight loss, continued physical activity and high levels of exercise are also important factors in keeping the weight off and maintaining a person's overall health A brisk one hour walk is a good daily activity that anyone at any weight stage can do.
Even if it's difficult to sustain a prolonged workout session, the best thing a person can do is to simply start an exercise regimen. The workout may last only a few minutes and consist of a small walk or workout on an exercise bike, but these seemingly small measures can make a difference. As you begin to make progress, additional minutes can be added to a workout regimen as part of a long term goal. If a person were to start with a five minute exercise routine and then add just one minute each week, said person will be exercising for a full hour by the end of the year. If a person begins to feel nauseous, faint, weak, or dizzy, it's important to temper your workout or stop altogether.
Talk to a Doctor Before Starting Any Exercise Program
Before starting any exercise regimen, it is important to discuss workout plans with a physician, especially if there is any related history of arthritis, hypertension, back problems, or heart disease. Certain medications may also affect a person's hydration level, heart rate, or balance.