“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.”
Chronic and degenerative diseases affect each of us in some manner ~ even if you are the fittest person on the planet.
Humans possess the ability to make choices. The consequences from our decisions will often be our salvation or our demise.
Lifestyles are determined by habit. The most insidious aspect of habit is its ability to dull awareness.
Genetics have long been blasted as the culprit to which chronic and degenerative disease[s] you may be pre-disposed. Lifestyle choices ~ especially what you eat and your level of activity ~ determine your health/wellness more than family medical history.
It has been hypothesized that only one disease process exists but it is your lifestyle that determines whether or not your genetic background is expressed.
We are an overfed yet undernourished society. More than 65 million adults in America are obese and there is no end in sight. Even more disturbing is the percentage of children who are obese is rising at an alarming rate.
Latest estimates indicate more than 17 percent of children and adolescents from 2 to 19 years old are obese ~ in most cases 120 percent more than one’s ideal weight. The scope of health challenges associated solely with obesity is staggering and cost annually in excess of $100 billion.
Weight management has hit an impasse. It is clear the typical North American diet financed by government subsidies is a losing proposition. Health care costs per annum consume more than 17 percent [more than $2 trillion] of the gross national product [GNP] ~ and increasing twice the rate of inflation.
Obesity is a major factor contributing to many leading causes of death including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain cancers.
Obesity at its most basic level is defined as an excessive amount of body fat. People ~ including athletes ~ seem to understand this obvious concept. How to return to one’s ideal body weight is a more difficult struggle.
It is impossible to be fat and healthy. Obesity affects all major bodily systems like your heart, lungs, muscles, and bones to list a few.
The importance of awareness and discipline respective to healthful nutritive decisions and regular exercise cannot be overstated.
Obesity is more damaging to health than smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and poverty. Lifestyle choices represent a cumulative versus a short-term effect on your health.
Evidence supports the premise that 86 percent of adult obesity is a manifestation of obesity during childhood.
It is abundantly clear that a plant-based, whole foods diet combined with regular exercise is the least costly and most effective way to prevent and reverse several chronic and degenerative diseases; the most overlooked solution to attaining and sustaining both optimal health/wellness and one’s ideal weight.
Though there is a clear connection among diet, exercise, disease, quality of life, and longevity most people take health and wellness for granted ~ until it is too late.
It is no secret that regular physical exercise is vital to optimal health. This explains why fewer than 50 percent of Americans regularly exercise. Excuses are pervasive for both poor dietary decisions and sedentary existence.
Research indicates that childhood obesity is associated more with inactivity than overeating. The consumption of nutrient-deficient foods combined with inactivity makes overeating moot. Diet and exercise have a profound effect on your health.
Obesity exacerbates the strain on a medical model that hopelessly addresses symptoms versus causations of health issues. It accounts for 21 percent of health care costs and directly and indirectly impacts even fit persons seeking routine medical procedures.
Obesity raises costs in Medicaid, which means we are paying for obesity through higher taxes, The health care costs of obesity are borne by the population; is not simply a personal issue. The most effective way to trim the fat is prevention.
The past decade has seen explosive growth in the number of participants in races, events, and cause-related endeavors. More participants are heavier which has incurred costly results for both participants and race management staff far beneath the podium.
Although the strides exerted to become fit are admirable doing so via organized events and races for the masses incurs additional liability and expense for race directors and the fit participants. Races and events are not the appropriate forum to commence an exercise regimen or test new-found lifestyle changes.
Several causes beyond dietary and lifestyle choices and have been linked to obesity. These include various physiological and psychological factors such as watching TV, grehlin and leptin [hormonal] imbalances, diet-induced thermogenesis, low serotonin levels, satiety and hypothalamus function, among other theories,
Obesity tends to be an inherited trait despite nonexistence of a specific “obesity gene.” What is clear is that even high-risk candidates have the power to avoid obesity through sound dietary and lifestyle choices.
Even a few extra pounds on your body will incur consequences. Health problems resulting from obesity include but are not limited to the following:
~Congestive heart failure;
~Deep vein thrombosis;
~High blood pressure;
~Numerous skin problems;
~Fatty liver disease;
~Carpal tunnel syndrome;
~Chronic back pain;
~Genital and urinary problems;
Benefits of Exercise
Endurance athletes know the benefits of regular exercise in spite of poor dietary choices. Physical activity increases the amount of energy utilized.
The level of energy used is dependent on muscle mass, age, weight, fat percentage, fitness level, weather, location, duration, and intensity of the exercise or event. Nutritive decisions will propel or pollute the quality of fuel your body mandates. The key is to enhance your performance because of your diet.
Our bodies are meant to expand and contract its 640 muscles as often as possible in the spirit of fitness. Exercise improves your metabolism. The basal metabolic rate [BMR] is the energy used to sustain the circulatory, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and renal bodily functions.
The thermic effect of food [TEF] is the energy expenditure associated with the digestion, absorption, and assimilation processes of food. Theses processes support weight management with optimal nutrition and exercise the catalysts.
Exercise stimulates your lymphatic system in which vessels and nodes combat infections flush microorganisms and toxins prior to filtering protein and fluid to your blood. Exercise suppresses stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, norepinephrine, and epinephrine.
The immediate effect of exercise on your body is stress, the trade-off is adaptation in which your body becomes stronger, functions more efficiently, and possess greater levels of endurance. your entire body benefits from exercise.
Some of the other benefits from regular exercise include:
~Strengthens heart function;
~Increases blood supply to muscles;
~Lowers resting heart rate;
~Lowers blood pressure;
~Enhances oxygen transport:
~Promotes capillary proliferation:
~Enlarges heart arteries;
~Reduces heart disease risk;
~Lowers total blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels;
~Elevates HDL cholesterol;
~Endocrine system stimulation;
~Reduces dietary fat composition;
~Enhances calcium/bone deposition ratio;
~Improves muscle mass and strength;
~Increases muscle tissue elasticity;
~Enlarges range of joint motion;
~Strengthens bones, ligaments, and tendons;
~Mitigates chance of injury;
~Improves physique and posture;
~Reduces anxiety, stress, and tension;
~Stimulates mental clarity and function;
~Lengthens life expectancy;
Do yourself a favor and find out your Body Mass Index [BMI}. Abdominal fat is directly associated with metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, inflammation, high cholesterol, high triglyceride levels, and high blood pressure among other abnormalities.
The key is to determine the percentage of body fat [fat to muscle ratio] versus total body weight. The results may surprise you.
“Why don’t people do what they need to do for themselves.”
~Michael Arloski, PhD, PCC
One of the keys to weight management is simply to add nutrient-dense, whole foods versus eliminating specific products. Your body will in time crave nutrient-dense foods instead nutrient-deficient fuel.
Your brain will begin to stifle its hunger signal for denatured foods as your body begins to crave food for nourishment versus stimulation to curb/quell stress and fatigue.
Keys to health incorporate a positive attitude, a healthful lifestyle, a healthful diet, and supplementation when necessary.
Wellness is a choice ~ it is not something that falls in your lap while flipping channels on a remote. It is not a quick-fix solution. It is a process not merely an event. It requires effort versus a miracle lotion or potion. It requires accountability.
Combine easily digested, absorbed, and assimilated nutrient-rich, plant-based, whole foods with regular exercise and your body will thank you innumerable ways beyond sustaining its ideal weight and enhanced sports performance.
~Disease prevention and reversal;
~Reduction of biological age;
~Elimination of junk food cravings;
~Reduced sleep requirements;
~Improved sleep quality;
~Improved energy absent stimulation;
~Elimination of biological debt;
~Faster recovery time from exercise;
~Improved skin elasticity;
Extra body fat on the human frame is more than unsightly. It is a pervasive and costly health issue that requires immediate action on a global scale. More than a million lobbyists pimp policy development designed to benefit food manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies.
The receptors under the tip of your tongue crave salt and sugar. Food manufacturers successfully bombard the media w/ ad campaigns touting nutrient-deficient foods and the pharmaceutical companies pitch products designed to treat the symptoms from your indulgence ~ for hefty profits at your expense.
Nutrition is the cornerstone of all dimensions of wellness. Plant-based nutrition has the profound and vastly underestimated ability to maintain health, prevent and reverse chronic and degenerative diseases and enhance endurance sports performance.
Consuming only foods which we are biologically adapted to eat is a monumental step on the path to optimum wellness. This is a matter in which we can eat and exercise our way out.
Technology has helped make our lives more convenient but it is not evil. Its application based on our decisions makes it beneficial or destructive. Our level of awareness has suffered dramatically and our penchant for convenience has cost us in ways yet to be realized.
Nutritional stress will be minimized only when micronutrient digestion, absorption and assimilation are maximized and regular exercise is experienced.
Though we cannot make anyone change his/her behavior respective to dietary and lifestyle choices the consequences remain undeniable. Let us become ambassadors for our sport and complementary sports to encourage others [especially the youth] to exercise through our vivid examples of excellence.
Start a movement with your children in the spirit of wellness. The far-reaching impact of our effort on snow or dirt trails will benefit generations down the path.
Regenerate the lives of others through sport.