The U.S. is in an enormous health crisis: More than two-thirds of Americans are over-weight and one-third suffer from obesity.
Contrary to popular belief, being thin does not equate with being healthy. And, while regular exercise can balance some of the harmful health consequences of being overweight, it cannot remove them entirely. That’s why, according to studies, weight AND activity levels are strong predictors of living a long and healthy life. The healthiest people are those who are BOTH thin AND physically active.
Researchers conducted a study involving female nurses in order to determine the affect of both exercise and weight on health. These are the findings:
- Obese, inactive women had a 2.5 times higher mortality rate than lean, active women.
- Active women (despite being obese) were twice as likely to die prematurely than lean, active women.
- Lean women who exercised less than 3.5 hours a week increased their risk of premature death by 55%, compared to women who worked out more often.
- Obese women who worked out for at least 3.5 hours a week had a 91% higher death rate than lean women who exercised similarly.
- The premature death rate was 142 times greater for obese, inactive women.
Physical activity definitely does help improve overall health, but excess weight can have a number of significant health risks that can outweigh the benefits of exercise. Being obese triples the risk of heart disease, and increases the chance of developing diabetes tenfold.
Clearly, exercise and nutrition go hand-in-hand. Adequate physical activity AND proper diet CAN help improve health conditions, lower the risk for disease, and help you live a long life full of energy and passion. Limiting your intake of fatty, processed, or sugary foods and replacing them with fresh, lean, whole foods is a good place to start improving your nutrition. When implementing more exercise into your life, you must consider the proper length of time, frequency, and intensity of the physical activity.
Exercise and eating right should fit naturally into your daily life. Dr. Dan can coach you on the right things to get you started on your path to fitness and health.