There’s an old joke that people tell to make fun of themselves – “I’m in shape! Round is a shape!”
Well, a recently released study from the European Heart Journal that indicates that it may be possible to be both obese and healthy.
A large sample size was pulled (43,265) to evaluate body fat percentage and VO2max (measures oxygen consumption for cardiovascular fitness aka cardio). Of this sampling, roughly 30% were considered obese and of that population – about half were considered “metabolically healthy.” Metabolic health is indicated by several factors: Blood pressure, Triglyceride levels, Cholesterol (specifically the HDL – aka the good one) and fasting glucose levels. So that means that those individuals that were obese, but were metabolically healthy had favorable numbers in these areas.
Authors of the study called those that were metabolically healthy but obese “uncomplicated obesity.” In short, it means that there are few health complications due to the extra weight.
The study suggests that a better cardiovascular level will make you healthier regardless of your weight status. So with that said, exercising and improving your fitness levels might be an effective tool for the fight against obesity.
I think I might now what your next question might be……
How do I start getting healthy???
The answer is simple.
Follow these guidelines to get started:
STEP 1 - Set aside time each day to exercise. Getting started can often be the most difficult part of any exercise routine. Scheduling exercise into your day and making it a priority will increase the chance of being successful.
STEP 2 - Choose cardiovascular activities you enjoy, such as swimming, biking, or playing basketball with friends to get your daily physical activity. If you need a variety of activities to stay motivated, combine a few that appeal to you. Physical activity can be accumulated through a variety of activities, not just running. Walking is a great way to do moderate-intensity physical activity. Moderate-intensity physical activity means working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat, yet still being able to carry on a conversation.
STEP 3 - Start with 10 to 15 minutes of cardiovascular exercise daily. Each week, add five minutes to your exercise routine until you reach 30 minutes of moderate intensity for a minimum of five days per week. The 30-minute recommendation is for the average healthy adult to maintain health and reduce the risk for chronic disease.