How to stop obesity with exercise?
How can exercise be beneficial to help people who are overweight or morbidly obese?
Exercising to beat Obesity
Overweight and obesity are both labels for ranges of weight that are greater than what is generally considered healthy for a given height. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Digestive Diseases (NIDDK), more than 65 percent of adults in the United States over the age of 20 are excessively overweight or obese. Obesity is a leading preventable cause of death worldwide, with increasing prevalence in adults and children, and authorities view it as one of the most serious public health problems of the 21st century.
Obesity puts people at increased risk for many illnesses and disorders, including depression, chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and some forms of cancer.
It is our effort to answer the following questions:
- What is obesity?
- How is obesity measured?
- What causes obesity?
- What are the associated health risks?
- What can you do about it?
Q: What is obesity?
A: "Obesity" specifically refers to an excessive amount of body fat. Most health care professionals agree that men with more than 25 percent body fat and women with more than 30 percent body fat are obese.
Q: How is obesity measured?
A: There are several ways to measure whether a person is overweight and/ or obese. While there are many ways to measure obesity the primary goal of testing is to measure the amount or percentage of body fat. One method of body fat testing is to measure the thickness of the layer of fat just under the skin in several parts of the body, typically 5 or 7 sites of the body. This is referred to as called caliper testing.
Another testing method is the Body Mass Index or BMI. Your BMI is a measure of relative body weight that takes height into account and is highly correlated with more direct measures of body fat; calculated by dividing total body weight (in kilograms) by the square of height (in meters). Health care providers generally agree that people who have a BMI of 30 or greater can improve their health through weight loss. This is especially true for people with a BMI of 40 or greater, who are considered extremely obese. Preventing additional weight gain is recommended if you have a BMI between 25 and 29.9, unless you have other risk factors for obesity-related diseases.
Q: What causes obesity?
A: Obesity occurs when a person consumes more calories from food than he or she burns. When a person eats more calories than he or she burns, the energy balance is tipped toward weight gain and obesity. This imbalance between calories-in and calories-out may differ from one person to another. Eating more than you “burn” whether short term or life-long can make a person overweight or obese at different rates depending on several factors. These factors include genetic, environmental, and medical factors. Medical conditions and diseases can make a person overweight and obese, these diseases include:
- Hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland fails to produce enough thyroid hormone. It often results in lowered metabolic rate and loss of vigor.
- Cushing's syndrome, also known as hyperadrenocorticism a glandular disorder caused by excessive cortisol. Symptoms vary, but most people have upper body obesity, rounded face, increased fat around the neck, and thinning arms and legs.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition characterized by high levels of androgens (male hormone), irregular or missed menstrual cycles, and in some cases, multiple small cysts in the ovaries. Cysts are fluid-filled sacs.
Q: What are the associated health risks?
A: Many serious medical conditions have been linked to obesity, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. Obesity is also linked to higher rates of certain types of cancer. Men who are obese are more likely than non-obese men to develop cancer of the colon, rectum, or prostate. Women who are obese are more likely than non-obese women to develop cancer of the gallbladder, uterus, cervix, or ovaries. Esophageal cancer has also been associated with obesity.
Other diseases and health problems linked to obesity include:
- Gallbladder disease and gallstones.
- Fatty liver disease (also called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH).
- Gastroesophageal reflux, or what is sometimes called GERD. This problem occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter does not close properly and stomach contents leak back—or reflux—into the esophagus.
- Osteoarthritis, a disease in which the joints deteriorate. This is possibly the result of excess weight on the joints.
- Gout, another disease affecting the joints.
- Pulmonary (breathing) problems, including sleep apnea, which causes a person to stop breathing for a short time during sleep.
- Reproductive problems in women, including menstrual irregularities and infertility.
Q: How can a personal trainer help?
A: The job of personal trainers, and most other proactive professional fitness coaches, is to inspire, educate, and motivate you to make better health decisions which directly affect the quality of your life. The method of treatment for obesity depends on your doctors recommendations, level of obesity, overall health condition, and readiness to lose weight. Treatment may include a combination of diet, exercise, behavior modification, and sometimes weight-loss drugs. To lose weight safely and keep it off requires long-term changes in daily eating and exercise habits. Obviously, we know from years of practical experience with obese folks that with the right motivation, coaching, and support you can lose the body weight necessary to become healthy. Exercise, Diet, and Lifestyle modification remains the mainstay of every able bodied person for long term success.
In some cases of extreme obesity surgery may be recommended. Of course only your doctor can tell you how to initially battle obesity. Once you have the full support of your doctor you can safely use the most modest forms of treatment to regain control of your health and obesity. Beat obesity, find a personal trainer for motivation, injury prevention, greater strength & safe weight loss. Find a personal trainer for exercise advice.