America's waistline continues to expand. It's at epidemic proportions. According to the CDC, about 1/3 of Americans are obese. Obesity is defined as a body mass index of 30 or more. Wow! That makes for a lot of walking time bombs! We are slowly killing ourselves. A high prevalence of metabolic syndrome is affecting the healthcare network and the health and fitness industry. Metabolic syndrome is preventable.
What is it? Metabolic Syndrome, according to the American College of Sport Medicine, is a group of conditions linked to obese individuals- high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high levels of unhealthy cholesterol, and high body fat in the mid-section. This has come about as a result of our unhealthy eating habits and our low activity level. Maybe plowing the field by hand and churning butter by hand wasn't such a bad thing! In essence, we are killing ourselves with our conveniences, our lifestyles, and our attitudes.
What does that look like?
Basically, it looks like a lot of people on blood pressure meds, insulin, and cholesterol meds!This syndrome is expensive. It is costing Americans with this syndrome $1,429 more a year than those without it. I've done a lot of fitness assessments with people that fit this category. Sadly, quite a few of them were under 40. It is also a time bomb waiting to explode through heart attack, stroke, and insulin dependent type 2 diabetes. The guidelines for assessment below are from WebMD.com.
What can we do?
A lot, actually. First, we need to get moving. Sitting most of the time is horrible on your health. Walking, jogging, biking, swimming, weight training all help reduce your risk factors. Find a personal trainer with compassion who understands how to work with individuals with metabolic syndrome. We are all trained how to work with overweight people, but this takes someone understands how to work with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and the toll your body is taking from the excess weight. No intimidation, but lots of motivation and encouragement are important to a successful start.
Second, get out of the fast food drive through lane. Eating meals at home together as a family that you actually make yourself helps a lot. Stay away from prepackaged foods. There is a ton of fat, sugar, and salt in them. If you need help finding recipes that are healthy and tasty, go to WebMd Healthy Recipe Finder.
Third, start looking up. It's easy to let life get us down. We have a God in Heaven who cares about what bothers you. Get help from your pastor or a licensed Christian clinical counselor. They can help you sort what is eating at you and help you find an effective action plan.
This syndrome is beatable. You don't have to listen to that time bomb tick,waiting to explode. Disarm it! God bless you!
Sites to see:
Other Resources: American Council on Exercise http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/healthy_living_fit_facts_content.aspx?itemid=3600