12 Apr Obesity and Exercise
There is extensive evidence highlighting the importance of regular exercise to help improve our health. Exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of many chronic diseases such as Cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, Cancer and Arthritis.
Overweight and Obesity, WHAT IS IT?
- Overweight and obesity can be defined as excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health.
- You can measure obesity by using the body mass index or BMI. This is the persons’ weight in kilograms divided by the square of his or her height in metres. A BMI of 30 or more is classed as obese whereas an individual with a BMI equal to or more than 25 is considered overweight.
- It is good to combine BMI with waist measurements to get an idea of overall disease risk. Waist circumference >94 cm in men and >80 cm in women is regarded as overweight and waist girth >102 cm in men and >88cm in women is classed as obese
- Increased abdominal obesity is related to higher risk for common chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, and some cancers.
WHAT ARE THE STATS?
- In 2017-18 the Australian Bureau of Statistics National Health Survey showed that two thirds (67.0%) of Australian adults were overweight or obese (12.5 million people), an increase from 63.4% in 2014-15.
- The National Health Survey also indicated that almost one quarter 24.9% of children aged 5-17 years were overweight or obese.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OR RISK FACTORS?
- Inactivity (sedentary lifestyles, increased sitting time)
- Poor nutrition or diet (high sugar and high-fat foods)
- Socioeconomic factors (lower levels of education and lower incomes. Less opportunity to eat healthy foods and partake in physical activities)
- Modern living (more time spent on computers, phones, cars, and TV)
When commencing an exercise program there are some common questions that are raised such as;
- What exercise should I do?
- How much exercise do I need to perform to get health benefits?
- What if I have an injury?
- How do I keep myself motivated?
Here are some simple tips if you are overweight or obese and looking to start an exercise program
- Perform moderate-intensity aerobic exercise on most days of the week (3-5 days per week). Do things you enjoy!!! like brisk walking, cycling, hiking, swimming, etc.
- Look to build up your duration to 30 minutes per session
- Look to add in some resistance training 2-3 times per week, as research shows good outcomes for weight loss. You could perform a home-based strength session using sit to stands, wall push-ups, and single arm rows or develop a gym based plan.
- If you are new to resistance or strength training we recommend you getting in touch with our Exercise Physiologist at Body Worx.
- If you have a pre-existing injury we can help to modify your exercise program so you can continue working towards your health goals
- Strategies to keep you motivated: set a few specific, measurable and time-based goals, exercise with a buddy or in a group, make it a priority!!! Schedule weekly exercise events in your diary.
If you are considering implementing a structured exercise plan in your lifestyle, you can consult the advice of our Accredited Exercise Physiologist to ensure you are exercising safely with good technique.