Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Importance of Physical Activity and Good Nutrition By Steve Shadrach

My Dad wrote this article about 10 years ago. People work out for so many reasons, usually to lose weight. This should motivate you to stay healthy and fit for your entire life. I want to be that grandmother that gets on the floor and plays with my grand babies. My two grandmothers had very different lifestyles. One was overweight, ate all the time and smoked. She would sit in her chair and just want to talk... Never would play with us or go to park. She passed when I was 18. The other grandmother still walks and goes to the gym, keeps her weight down. She was literally on the floor at Christmas with my baby, her GREAT grandson tickling and playing with him. They were both wonderful women. Only one got to meet Shad. I want to meet my great grandchildren one day. This is making me sad. All I meant to write about was looking at exercise and food as a way of life, not a January thing.

The Importance of Physical Activity and Good Nutrition By Steve Shadrach

​“Obesity is a national epidemic: more than 11 million American adults are 20 percent or more above their ideal weight. The number of obese Americans is expanding as many children and adolescents join the ranks of the obese. Much of the blame for this U.S. weight problem is linked to overindulgence in fatty junk foods and lack of exercise as sedentary hours are spent watching TV.” So says Dr. Henry Ginsberg, author of The Basics of Good Nutrition and expert on what and how we ought to be eating. ​ ​I know I am personally overweight and have been for about five years. I would like to lose about 20-25 pounds and know that the key is eating right, along with the proper amount and kind of exercise. Not only will I feel better, but statistics show that I will live longer too. Dr. Dileep G. Bal, Past President of the American Cancer Society says, “"At least one-third of all cancers are attributable to poor diet, physical inactivity, and overweight. Thus, if our goal of reducing cancer incidence by 25% in the United States by 2015 is to be reached, cancer prevention efforts must include strong programs for healthy eating and physical activity. Such programs will also help to reduce the incidence of many other chronic diseases." ​The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion has done extensive work on the effects of eating right and exercising to the longevity and health of individuals. This is their claim, “Chronic diseases account for 7 of every 10 U.S. deaths and for more than 60% of medical care expenditures. In addition, the prolonged illness and disability associated with many chronic diseases decrease quality of life for millions of Americans. Much of the chronic disease burden is preventable. Physical inactivity and unhealthy eating contribute to obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Together, they are responsible for at least 300,000 deaths each year. Only tobacco use causes more preventable deaths in the United States. People who avoid the behaviors that increase their risk for chronic diseases can expect to live healthier and longer lives.”​Americans spend a ton of money on weight loss and exercise programs. We are a country that loves to eat and relax and at the same time diet and exercise. Like a modern day Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, we constantly go from one ditch to the other, a revolving cycle of healthy habits only to be undone by unhealthy ones. Dr. Ginsberg continues to educate us about our need to eat and exercise properly, “Despite their overwhelming lack of success, Americans have made dieting to lose weight a popular American pastime. It's estimated that in any given year, 70 million Americans either plan or go on some sort of weight-loss diet. Frequently, dieters attempt a crash regimen that promises to melt off unwanted pounds. Radical diets, however, although sometimes successful in the short run, have serious disadvantages. The task for a dieter is not simply losing weight; it is to develop practical, long-term eating habits that will keep your weight down for years, not just days, weeks, or months.”​One health habit I have learned lately is the importance of drinking a lot of water each day. It is a simple concept, but one that can help with our weight and health immensely. The researchers at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion supported my thesis by adding, “Although most of us try to eat fairly decent diets, few give much thought to the importance of water. On average, a healthy adult needs between one and three liters of water a day. This can be supplied by drinks such as tap or bottled water, coffee, tea, milk, fruit juices, and soft drinks as well as solid foods, such as fruits and vegetables, which may be 90 percent water. Whereas any combination of foods and beverages that provides the needed amount of water is acceptable, many nutritionists recommend 6 to 8 glasses of liquids a day. Anything that increases water losses from the body, such as strenuous exercise, hot weather, diarrhea, or fever, increases the body's need for water.”

​Dr. Kevin Weiss is an avid cyclist and uses his love for biking to stay in shape. On his internet site ( he gives all kinds of tips on how to get and stay healthy simply by riding a bike. Here it is in his own words: “One of the best aerobic exercises is cycling and it doesn't matter whether you do it indoors on a stationary bike or outdoors on a mountain bike. Bicycling is a form of aerobic exercise that helps to condition your heart muscle, lower you blood pressure, and increase your levels of good high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.”

​Finally, Dr. Weiss quotes two sources trying to build a case that cycling is good for our health: “Only 30% of men and 20% of women are as fit as they should be for their age (British Medical Association). You will feel and look better. Even moderate cycling every week can give you the health and fitness of someone ten years younger. A little cycling could also decrease your chances of heart disease. Heart Disease rates would fall by five to ten per cent if one third of all short journeys (less than 5 miles) were made by bike (CTC Bikes Not Fumes, 1992).”

- Please excuse any typos as this post was written using BlogPress from my iPhone

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