by Paul Dexter, copyright dextertraining.com
When I became a personal trainer over 15 years ago one of the questions on my certification exam was – the current “obesity” rate for our country. At that time, it was 41%. Since then it has risen considerably. The current percentage of “obese” people in the United States exceeds 60%! That is an increase of almost 2% per year.
Unfortunately, our society is one that is always on the go. We want things fast, and we want them now! We also want the most for our dollar. That is why we can supersize anything, go to all you can eat buffets, or get an extra gallon of soda at the movies for just another 25 cents. Restaurants also compete for our business by giving us more food than any other for the same amount of money, or less. This trend has caused our society to become bigger, and bigger with increasing health risks.
With all the options we have as consumers now, it doesn’t take much effort to eat a little healthier. It is easier to pick up something quick that isn’t so healthy, but most places (restaurants, deli’s, fast food, etc.) do have healthy choices now. If you have time to prepare food at home, that is even better. If you wait until you’re hungry and unprepared most of us end up eating something we shouldn’t.
People make “looking” good a priority over “feeling” good. You don’t see the results of poor eating/ exercise habits until it’s too late. We all need to understand that if you make “feeling” good a priority, by eating healthy and exercising, the “looking” good will follow. A strong, healthy body on the inside usually looks that way on the outside.
We all take better care of our cars than we do our own body. We go through many cars in our lifetime, but only one body. When we get a scratch or a dent on our car we’re usually devastated. Do we get as upset when we put 2-3 inches on our waste, increase our cholesterol by 50-100 points, or the unknown amount of clogging that occurs in our arteries. Most of us shrug it off, and just move up to the next notch on our belt.
If we all had one car for our lifetime we would get the oil changed every 2,000 miles, put in the best gas, rotate the tires, and wash and wax it as often as possible. Why don’t we take care of our body the same way? You only get one. Usually the damage we cause is irreversible. We can lose weight – but what was the cost of gaining it all? Stretch marks, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, damaged joints, etc.
There are many “side-effects” from obesity aside from the obvious superficial ones. We can always pop the hood and see how bad the engine is getting in our cars, but unfortunately we can’t do the same for our body. Quality of life needs to become a priority over Quantity of life. We all are guilty of always being on the go. Working too much, and putting our health aside because of the lack of time in a day. Try to make as much as you can, then retire – right? What if you don’t make it, you can’t take it with you.
We only get one body to carry us through our lifetime. We all know that we should take better care of it. Don’t wait until you have no choice but to become healthier. Adopt a healthy lifestyle that makes you look and feel better. Schedule appointments for yourself to exercise and make wiser decisions with your eating habits. Everyone can find at least three hours through the course of their week to exercise (1 hour / 3x per week), and you can drive past that Taco Bell and easily find a better food choice without it being an inconvenience.
A healthy lifestyle shouldn’t be something for the short term to achieve a goal – it is a “lifestyle”. Remember, you can’t trade it in for an upgrade. You get one body for the rest of your life. It is never too late to start being healthy. I have many clients in their 50’s who never worked out before, feeling better than they did in their 30’s. They have learned how to make a healthy lifestyle realistic. They’ve seen, and more importantly, felt the benefits of combining wiser food choices, cardiovascular, and strength training.
I invite everyone to take advantage of our free fitness assessment and nutrition consultations. I can be reached at 401-228-7906, and will be more than happy to answer any questions. We will be happy to assist you in becoming a stronger, healthier, and happier person. Improving the quality of your life is something that should never be neglected, and we can make it happen!