"I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." - Philippians 4:13
Gastric bypass and Lap banding.
Most of us know that these phrases refer to weight loss in some way. These are actually the most common weight loss surgeries performed today. How did such words creep into our conversations?
The answer to that lies in the most recent statistics published by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) that says more than one-third of adults, 34.9%, in America are obese. This means that there are more than 105 million people who fall in that category. Furthermore, 68.5% of adults are overweight. Now any which way you look at it we have become a fat nation. And we are bombarded with quick fixes that range from stapling our stomachs, to diet pills, to the cabbage soup diet.
We wish there was this magic blue pill we could swallow and scream hallelujah as we appear 10, 20 or more pounds lighter. But, we know better and the simple truth is nourishing our body with wholesome meals and exercising is the only way out of this. And what better way to commit to a healthier lifestyle than to start exercising in May, which happens to be National Physical Fitness and Sports month.
On April 30, 2013 the White House sent out a press release which declared May as National Physical Fitness and Sports month. It is basically an attempt to get people to commit themselves to exercise, to get moving, to take their health seriously and be responsible for it. According to one report in the CDC, the estimated annual cost of obesity was 147 billion dollars in 2008 and this cost will continue to rise if we remain couch potatoes. There are several medical reports that go in great detail to explain how being obese and overweight relate to heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer and deaths due to these diseases are preventable by exercising.
Now, that doesn’t mean sweating buckets in a 105 degree room doing Bikram yoga or spinning insanely on a stationary bike. The 2008 Physical Activity Guideline for Americans suggests that adults need to get 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderately intense aerobic activity a week. That means you have to exercise 150 minutes in 7 days. Or simply put, 20 minutes a day. And the best part is there are oh so many ways to get your 20 minutes.
If you are not a gym rat, go outside and take a walk in the park or around the block. If you love structure try pilates or a Mommy & Me class. Play a sport, kick a ball, jump, and skip rope.
And if this still doesn't fit your schedule or capture your interest try a Shazzy Fitness workout video. All you need is a DVD player or laptop with a DVD drive and you can rally your entire family to move to the groove.
Devoting one month to exercise and fitness is a great place to start! But our commitment to exercise must continue well beyond May. It should be part of our everyday routine, a way to live. The benefits of exercise are not just limited to lowering blood pressure, or reducing weight. It is a mood elevator, a stress reliever- a life saver.
Often times the biggest decisions we make in life are alone and without any fanfare, but this month we as a nation can band together and bypass the fat route.