Exercise is now mandatory. Our societal structure has changed in such a way that you will probably become overweight or obese at some point in your life, unless you take steps to avoid it. Why do I make this statement? Look at the facts:
1. We drive almost everywhere. Many times, we could walk or bike.
2. We have remote controls for everything, so we avoid walking.
3. Many of us work sitting down with little movement during the day.
4. Most don’t have jobs that require physical activity like construction or farming.
5. Many homes have three or four televisions. These gadgets are made for us to sit and watch!
6. Video games and “computer time” encourages inactivity during leisure time.
7. Many schools have terminated physical education classes.
8. By the age of 13, many of our kids are dropping out of organized sports due to burnout, not being good enough to make the team, and other reasons.
9. In our society, we are accustomed to eating over-sized food portions. In other words, we eat too much.
According to Kris Berg, EdD, an exercise physiologist at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, type 2 diabetes can be avoided. “For those with type 2 diabetes, the actual cause of diabetes is inactivity and weight gain,” says Berg. “These factors produce insulin resistance. We know today that even in genetically susceptible people, exercise can prevent type 2. So, a major goal for type 2s should be to become active for the rest of their lives.”
Here are some other startling statistics:
According to the Department of Health in New York State:
1. Approximately 35 percent of coronary heart disease mortality is due to physical inactivity. Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States with over 700,000 deaths annually. Approximately 60 percent of all Americans age 18 and older report that they are physically inactive. Physical inactivity cost the nation billions of dollars due to hospitalizations and other related health care costs.
2. About 22 percent of Americans report regular sustained physical activity (activity of any intensity lasting 30 minutes or more five times a week).