New studies show that obesity may be one of the biggest dangers facing the US.
It is no secret that the importance of an active lifestyle and a strong diet are some of the most advocated and scientifically proven factors that lead to a long, healthy life
. Within the last decade alone, hundreds of studies have come out which not only show that incorporating daily exercise and fitness into your life can decrease your risk of developing certain diseases and types of cancer, but it can also add years onto your life.
However, growing up, there was not nearly the amount of attention and necessity placed upon the importance of an active lifestyle as there is today. In large part, this was due to the fact that it was already present in our day-to-day activities.
For instance, 20 years ago, most kids were more likely to be seen playing outside or running around
their neighborhood during the weekend, rather than spending their time spent cooped up inside?and they were not the only ones. Adults also used their time spent before the advent of laptops and cell phones to participate in active, outdoor activities that suited their interests.
Because of this, along with other various factors surrounding our health and wellness, it is easy to see why obesity has become such a common thing among adults and children in the United States. In fact, it may be worse than we think.
For decades, doctors and health officials have relied on BMI
, a ratio of height to weight, to categorize people as overweight and obese. A new study, however, suggests the use of BMI may be leading us to underestimate the already sky-high obesity rate. BMI, the researchers say, is an overly simplistic measure that often misrepresents physical fitness and overall health, especially among older women. However, if body fat percentage was taken into account, nearly 4 in 10 adults whose BMI places them in the overweight category would be considered obese, according to the study.
Luckily, there is one very simple answer to help stop the spread of obesity in the United States?daily exercise. Besides helping to take off pounds, physical activity has several other benefits, such as:
· Reducing your risk of dying from heart disease or stroke
· Lowering high blood pressure
· Protecting against falling and bone fractures in older adults
· Lowering your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, colon cancer, and diabetes
An active lifestyle has also been shown to aid in weight loss for people of all shapes and sizes. In fact, 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week can significantly improve your health. Most people can get better health benefits if they engage in physical activity that is more vigorous in intensity or longer in duration.
If exercise is not already part of your day-to-day routine
, try and work in as little as 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity. In the end, your body and health will thank you.