There’s a lot of general information about fitness, dieting and weight loss that people, especially women, aren’t aware of. Being that my goal is to help get everyone healthy and active, I thought I would take some time today to go over some important facts that you may not be aware of.
When it comes to dieting, some of the statistics are pretty scary. First of all, for those who are frequent dieters, they are putting themselves in the line of fire for long term health issues. The worst part is, most women who follow the fad diets, or are frequent dieters don’t even need to lose weight. The yo-yo dieting practiced by many women is frequently a short-term solution. They don’t make permanent changes – they diet until they lose those few pounds they want to lose, and then start to eat as they were before.
The ‘dieting’ industry is now a massive, global industry. From books to plans, courses to pre-packaged servings, this billion dollar industry is aiming their sales pitches to an audience of 90% women.
Women often will diet due to social pressures, or because of preconceived notions of how they should look. Fortunately, as Muslim women this is not an issue for us as much as it is for the rest of the population.
In comparative testing, women are twice as likely as men to develop eating disorders are a result of yo-yo dieting and social pressures. And on any given day in the United States, half of the female population (women and girls alike) are on some sort of diet – usually some fad that will claim they will lose X number of pounds in 4 weeks guaranteed.
For women with a BMI (body mass index) over 28, their chances of developing serious illnesses such as diabetes, fertility issues, polycystic ovarian syndrome, hypertension, heart disease or a very serious combination of any of these.
Obese and overweight women are more likely to receive unclear or suspicious results from breast screening and mammograms.
Weight problems and obesity levels are higher among women of minority groups. Those who are not Caucasian Americans have a much higher risk of obesity – that includes us ladies!!
Exercise, Fitness and Working on Your Weight
Did you know that more than 60% of the US population of women don’t get the required amount of physical exercise recommended daily? For a simple matter of 30 minutes a day, many women are walking into a trap they don’t need to. And one in four women aren’t active at all!
Some examples of the bonuses of regular exercise are as follows:
– Reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes
– Lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol
– Exercise reduces the amount of stress put on your heart
– Women who exercise regularly are less likely to suffer severe symptoms of PMS and/or menopause
– Walking and riding a bike are just two of the simple ways you can increase the density of your bones
– Those suffering from back or other pain can find relief in exercise, instead of having to resort to medication for their chronic pain
We’ve discussed before how you can exercise without having to go to the gym. While that’s always the best motivator, it’s understandable that you may not be able to attend every day. For those days that you can’t make it, try these exercises at home or outdoors instead; yoga, pilates, walking, running or jogging, cycling, rollerblading, swimming and many other available options. They don’t need to cost a fortune in order to be helpful to you.
There are even things you can do to get yourself moving that don’t involve sports or actual ‘fitness’ training at all. Did you know that you can burn many calories by doing your household chores to a fast-beat music? Or how about taking the stairs instead of the elevator?
Outside work, such as raking the leaves, working in the garden and even mowing the lawn are great forms of physical activity. And if none of these seem to be right for you, be creative! There must be some chore or activity you can be spontaneous with, turning it into a physical activity as well as a chore. Dusting to music makes this tedious task much more fun, don’t you think?
Get out there, get active…and get HEALTHY!