While many adults go to the gym with regularity and their children participate in sports, there’s a good percentage of Americans who are sedentary. We can certainly blame it on the temptation to binge the entire season of a just-released Netflix favorite! When all thirteen episodes are suddenly made available in one solid block, what else can you do? Watch one episode per week? Probably not going to happen. Enter the need to offset the lethargic activity with one that gets the blood flowing.
America’s Obesity Statistics
As of November 2018, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) provided data supporting the statistic that “39.6 percent of adults and 18.5 percent of children ages 2 to 19 in America have obesity.”
NHANES is a major program of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). NCHS is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and has the responsibility for producing vital and health statistics for the Nation.
They also cited that while only two states (Mississippi and West Virginia) were above the thirty percent mark just ten years ago, now seven states boast thirty-five percent of their population as battling obesity: Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia.
According to WebMD, health risks related to obesity (which is diagnosed by having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher) include a plethora of dangerous ones including:
- Heart disease and stroke
- High blood pressure
- Some cancers
- Gallbladder disease and gallstones
- Breathing problems, such as sleep apnea and asthma
So, where to from here? It’s not realistic to just put down the potato chip bag and start running. If your regimen has been more on the lax side, your path to a healthier you should be proactive, but also strategic and safe. The first stop is to your primary doctor for a discussion about what kinds of exercise (and intensity) suit your current physical condition. Next, set goals. Then, make a plan.
Your Biggest Enemy
You may think you are your own worst enemy. While you could be a contributing factor, remember that the scale is not always your friend. You can be losing inches and reshaping your body while the scale needle stays stuck on that scary number!
If you can, don’t use a scale. See how your clothes fit as a guide. Your weight could technically remain the same but what you are doing is exchanging body fat for muscle. VeryWellFit.com suggests that “the truth about your weight is that the typical scale shows your weight, but it doesn’t tell you how much of that weight is muscle, fat, water, bones, or organs.” Your body’s weight also fluctuates throughout the day dependent on multiple factors like water retention and food and drink intake, among others.
Another aspect of getting back into shape is to be realistic and have patience. It didn’t take you a month to get out of shape. It won’t take you just a month to get back into shape. Try to enjoy the journey of feeling stronger every day. Taking control of this facet of life is empowering. There’s often so little we can influence; changing the things you can makes all the difference.
Our Top Five Reasons Why Swimming is the Best Workout
It’s Easy and Accessible
You don’t have to gear up and jump in the car to get over to the fitness center. You don’t have to pack up your gym bag and remember to put it in the trunk of your car so you can make the 6:30 class after work. Just slip into your suit and open the door to your backyard. Your workout studio awaits – a shimmering backyard pool. And it’s always open.
It’s Aquatic and Efficient
You receive the benefits of both an aerobic and anaerobic exercise, which, according to Wikipedia, is “a physical exercise intense enough to cause lactate to form. It is used by athletes in non-endurance sports to promote strength, speed and power and by body builders to build muscle mass.” When you develop muscular strength and endurance while improving cardiovascular fitness, you score a powerful combo in an especially refreshing locale.
It’s Low Impact, High Power
Weightlifting and jogging on pavement can be jarring activities for those new to fitness. If you are just starting out or are fit and looking to add another level to your wellness plan, swimming is it! You have the opportunity to exercise all the muscles simultaneously while minimizing the risk to isolated muscle groups. You’ll increase your metabolism by burning more calories while decreasing body fat and building and maintaining lean muscle. If you are obese, swimming is probably the best way to start out. Ask your doctor what he or she thinks would work best for you.
It’s the Ideal Venue
The very nature of water works to increase your flexibility. Muscles sore from traditional workouts or muscles new to exercise will benefit from the water’s buoyancy and temperature. By allowing smooth (as opposed to jerkier movements) muscles are given the chance to stretch and lengthen. The water is also a naturally stress-free environment. It offers a calming, meditative effect that can be intensified when floating speakers are connected to your music source. In such an atmosphere, you may not even realize you are exercising your way to a better you.
It’s Good for People of All Ages
Swimming is one exercise in which just about everyone may participate. Check first with your obstetrician, but the benefits of swimming for pregnant women and their babies include “strengthening your heart and making it more efficient at pumping blood. This improves circulation to your whole body and boosts oxygen levels in your blood and helps to counteract back strain.”
The littlest swimmers are typically just having fun so are likely not even realizing they are receiving much needed exercise. As for the elderly or those with a disability or a condition like arthritis that can make working out on resistance equipment challenging and perhaps ill-advised, the water ebbs and flows to facilitate movement and provides an excellent setting. It’s also invigorating! Plus, you’re working out and not sweating. In the sweet serenity of your own backyard pool.
Providing pool and home improvement loans since 1979, Lyon Financial loves backyard pools. They provide the nucleus for celebrations and relaxing staycations, while also giving you your own private exercise platform. We also love the difference we can make for your family by providing something that puts years of memories within reach. Call 877-754-5966 for more information.