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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, Issue #186. Fat Pandemic
September 01, 2016
September 1, 2016
In this newsletter . . .
The Obesity Pandemic
The Fitness Pragmatist
The Obesity PandemicU.S.A. Hardest Hit
The Urban Dictionary has some funny entries. Here's one: “Dunlops Disease -- when your belly dunlops over your belt.” Funny, but at the same time serious.
Dunlops Disease is the extreme opposite of six-pack abs. And while few people ever attain an actual six-pack, too many Americans do reach that opposite extreme: being overweight or downright obese.
Here’s what I mean: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one-third of U.S. adults are not just overweight but obese. That’s not an exaggeration or typographical error. Three out of ten Americans are obese!
(According to the CDC, overweight and obesity are both labels for ranges of weight that are greater than what is generally considered healthy for a given height. The terms also identify ranges of weight that have been shown to increase the likelihood of certain diseases and other health problems.)
If you want them, six-pack abs are great. But somewhere between the extremes of six-packs and Dunlops Disease is the sweet spot where most people would like to be. For good health and a nice appearance, six-packs aren’t essential; but firm abdominal muscles are required, along with the absence of a thick layer of fat covering them.
If you are overweight or obese . . .
How do you go about achieving a healthy bodyweight? Let's be honest. If it were easy, no one would be fat. Shaping-up requires a true desire to be fit and some will power. If you have those, there are two things to do to reach your goal.
First, and most important, is to stop eating more food than you need. That sounds overly simple and obvious. But it is the heart of all weight loss methods. You must consistently consume fewer calories than your body requires for maintaining your current weight.
There are many ways to do it. Programs such as Weight Watchers have been successful for many. Or working with your doctor or a dietician might be the right path. But beware of diet pills (example) or quick-fix promises. Personally, I find hand-measurement for portion control eating is simple and effective, described here.
Second, you must consistently exercise. Exercise is a key, even though it is in second place. Second place? Surprised? Don’t be. If you don’t first get calorie intake under control, all the exercise in the world will not burn off the fat. So to succeed, it takes a comprehensive approach. Sure, if you consistently reduce calories, without exercising, yes, you’ll still lose weight. But without proper exercise, too, you’ll end up thinner but flabby.
Here are two how-to-do-it places to get honest help . . .
and, for beginners . . .
Though many Americans are overweight and even severely obese, other modern nations have similar weight problems. The defeat of famine is the goal of all successful societies. Unfortunately, triumph often evolves into the other extreme – obesity.
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The Fitness PragmatistPragmatic (prag-MAT-ik) -- means realistic or matter-of-fact; useful in practice, not just theory.
Methods continually evolve in the fitness world. But is the "latest and greatest" always better? For example, when it comes to building strength and muscle, is there really anything better than a simple set of weights? Hmm. Could exercise machines be safer? Are resistance bands easier on your joints? Then again, maybe your own bodyweight is all you really need.
And what is the ideal number of workouts per week: two, three, four, five times, or more? What about cardiovascular exercise? For a while jogging was the be all and end all. Aerobics classes were big, too. Then along came high intensity intervals, Tabata, etc. and “boot camp” circuits.
The smorgasbord of offerings can overwhelm a beginner, because every expert says his or her way is best. Even seasoned trainees can drive themselves crazy in search of the perfect workout. I’ve been working out in some form since I was teenager. I don’t plan on stopping. It's a big part of who I am. I have some advice.
If you are a beginner, don’t worry too much about discovering the “perfect” method. Just start with something that seems reasonable and has appeal to you personally. Particularly if you are a senior, start off easy and gradually build up. No matter what form or program you practice, if it has a measure of each of the following three components you’re probably on the right track:
The important thing is to begin and keep moving forward. Get clearance from your doctor and then get going. As you move along you’ll discover the emphasis that is right for you personally. Try not to over-think things.
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter is a free publication sent twice monthly to subscribers. The purpose is to provide honest and realistic fitness information for people age 50 and above.
I have never been paid or received compensation of any kind to write a positive review or endorse a product. If I say that I personally use a product or service, it is because I find value in it and have paid for it with my own money.
Like newspapers, magazines and television, this newsletter and my web site contain advertising and marketing links. Naturally, I am compensated for these.
The newsletter and web site provide information to help users establish and maintain a fitness lifestyle. But fitness information is not the same as fitness advice, which is the application of exercise and dietary practices to an individual's specific circumstances. Therefore, always consult with your physician for assurance that fitness information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate for you.
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