A huge scale study into body mass index has shown that just a one unit increase can raise the risk of heart failure by 17%. This is yet further evidence that you should find a way to ensure your lifestyle is healthy and part of a healthy lifestyle is keeping fit and active. Diet is one thing but the addition of exercise into your daily routine can make a big difference too.
One unit of body mass index, which measures the body’s fat levels, can be anything from 4 to 12lbs depending on your height. For example, for somebody who is 5’10” a single BMI unit is 7lbs whilst for someone 5’4” it is 6lbs. So just dropping an extra four pounds - less than two kilograms - can cut your risk of heart failure drastically.
This is further proof to show that obesity does cause heart disease according to the researchers from Uppsala University who led the study in conjunction with Imperial College London and the University of Oxford.
Life versus Lifestyle
Life is busy, it’s hectic and fitting in additional elements of a healthy, active lifestyle around the general comings and goings of life can seem impossible. The fact is that this isn’t the case. There are ways to fit exercise into your life and once your active lifestyle becomes as important as your social life or work life then you’ll be onto a winner. Below are a few tips to help you fit exercise in around the rest of your life.
Turn your commute to work into a workout commute. Many people who automatically jump in their car or onto the train could swap this for a cycle or brisk walk. You could even consider running. It might not be feasible to do this every single day but perhaps once or twice a week to give yourself the active lifestyle kick you need without it eating too much into the rest of your time.
Lunch Break Lunges
Why not spend midday having a quick, light lunch and working in a short but intensive exercise session. Head to your nearest gym and give yourself 15-20 minutes of hard core working out or alternatively go for a run. You could even consider scaling the stairs of your work building and pushing yourself to your limits. There’s nothing to say you can’t practice sit-ups, squats or lunges in the staff room either!
Wake up earlier in the mornings, sacrifice that lie in and replace it with some invigorating exercise. This way you won’t be missing out on work time, social time or family time as you’ll be utilising hours you had spent in bed. If you schedule in your exercise first thing ever morning then it’ll become part of your natural routine very quickly.
It sounds simple to just say this is how you incorporate activity into your lifestyle but if staving off obesity and lengthening your life isn’t motivation enough then you’ll need to think of some personal reasons to keep fit. Below are some ways of finding that necessary motivation if you’re not driven by the health benefits.
Create personal incentives. Think about it like your job, where you may find your boss gives you incentives to encourage you to work harder. Promise yourself something if you reach a certain activity goal. It could be as simple as rewarding yourself with a healthy meal out or a night in with your favourite movie or it could be what’s known as a negative motivators. One of the most popular negative motivators is using a gym. You’re paying for a service and therefore you are motivated by the desire to get your money’s worth.
Bag a Buddy
Rope in a friend or colleague to join you on your active lifestyle journey. Not only will the camaraderie help but you’ll also soon develop a competitive streak and the sense of letting someone down will also minimise your desire not to go to sessions. It also makes the actual workout process more fun as you can spend some time with a friend.
Just ‘going to the gym’ because it’s what you do will never get you anywhere. You need to have goals. If you want a naturally healthier and more active lifestyle then dedicate yourself to exercises which benefit your heart and lungs. If you want to lose weight then focus on a fat blasting programme. You need an end goal if you’re going to have any success.
Everyone wants to have the longest, healthiest life they possibly can to share with their family and friends. With even more evidence stacked up to show how dangerous obesity is there should be even more focus on encouraging and promoting active lifestyles for all. If you feel you need to build activity into your life then follow our simple tips. You’ll be happier, healthier and less likely to end up with a life-limiting condition.
by Kath Webb
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