Upping the Ante
Having trouble with those few extra pounds? You're not alone.
Recent research on worldwide obesity was published in The Lancet.
The study found that the proportion of men who were overweight or obese rose from 28.8% in 1980 to 36.9% in 2013, while the proportion of women who are obese or overweight increased from 29.8% to 38%! That translates to 2.1 billion obese or overweight people around the globe in 2013!
Public health experts point out that the cumulative effect of even a few extra pounds is serious. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that the excess weight increases the risk of life-threatening conditions, including coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, and certain types of cancer. A 2010 study, also published in The Lancet
, estimated that 3.4 million deaths worldwide were caused by being overweight or obese in that year alone! It seems to be getting harder and harder to keep in shape! If you're having a problem, take a good look at your fitness regimen.
Increasing the intensity of your workout routine will help. New research from the Scripps Research Institute found that intense exercise changes the body and muscles at a molecular level in ways that less vigorous exercise doesn't
. The study adds to the growing evidence that to reap the greatest benefits from our workouts, we need to challenge ourselves and that exercising at the proper intensity helps you get the most out of your workouts.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services we should fit both aerobic and strength training in our fitness regimens.
- Aerobic activity. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity — brisk walking, swimming or mowing the lawn — or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity — running or aerobic dance routines, or a combination of both per week.
- Strength training. Add twice a week strength training sessions. Include free weights, weight machines or activities that use your own body weight — such as climbing or heavy gardening.
Gain the most from your workouts by keeping your exercise intensity at a moderate or vigorous level. You can gauge the intensity of your workout by your heartbeat, by the way you feel or a mixture of both methods. For the heartbeat method you need to be able to pinpoint your maximum heart rate! To do that, subtract your age from 220. For example, if you're 50 years old, subtract 50 from 220 to get a maximum heart rate of 170. That is the maximum number of times your heart should beat per minute while you're exercising.
Some basic guidelines for a healthy person to gauge exercise intensity are:
Moderate intensity exercise is somewhat hard.
Vigorous intensity exercise is challenging.
- Your breathing quickens, but you're not out of breath.
- You develop a light sweat after about 10 minutes of activity.
- You can carry on a conversation, but you can't sing.
- Your heart rate is 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate-.
- Your breathing is deep and rapid.
- You develop a sweat after a few minutes of activity.
- You can't say more than a few words without pausing for breath.
- Heart rate is 70 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate.
Exercise intensity is different for everyone. It's up to you to decide if your intensity is too low, or if you need to slow down. Your current state of health, different medications and level of your current workout program all effect what the proper intensity level is for you!
Extra weight has been definitely linked to some cancers, heart disease, and diabetes. Weight loss is beneficial to your health, up your intensity and maximize your results!