2010 report card - A Perfect Storm - Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
I'd love to hear a report that says Canadians are getting more fit and less fat. Maybe we can turn it around this year.
According to a report released by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada we're heading into a "perfect storm" of risks for cardiovascular disease.
Diet and exercise are the way to turn the trend around and avoid the storm, but we still hold on too tightly to believing that eating big high fat, high calorie meals is a treat or reward, and we still feel exercise interferes with other things in our lives. With these beliefs being so prevalent it's no wonder those aged 35 to 49 years have seen a 127% increase in blood pressure from 1995 to 2005.
The three big risk factors referred to in the report are diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. Type II diabetes brought on by poor health habits is preventable, and so is obesity and high blood pressure. Eat less, eat healthy, and get moving every day.
Even those in their 20's and 30's are seeing these risk factors increase.
What's alarming is that this isn't so much a warning of bad things to come as it is a report on what is happening right now. We are more overweight with high blood pressure and type II diabetes is rising rapidly. This isn't a forecast, it's a live report.
If we can get as excited about eating healthy as we do about chowing down calorie bombs; if we can see benefit in exercise the same way we do in making a permanent dent in the couch, then we can turn it around.
We know that regular exercise increases not only life span but quality of life as well. I remember when I was a couch sitting smoker.. Runners. Bunch of weirdo's. Look at those fools out there getting all sweaty and tired! And for what? And what do they follow that up with? Eating rabbit food and goofy nuts and berries.
What about those gym freaks? What's the point in lifting those weights? The weights are heavy, you get tired doing it, and at the end you haven't accomplished anything useful- if you want to be productive at lifting things get a job in a warehouse!
As I took a long drag on my smoke and sat back in front of the TV I would think, yep they sure a bunch of nuts (sic).
Of course lifting weights increases bone density, muscle strength, and helps to preserve these precious commodities as we age. I didn't know it at the time, but when I was out of shape I didn't realise how good it felt to eat healthy and exercise.
In fact I was so out of shape there was no way I could relax as effectively as someone who is more fit.
That's right, when you're fit you're not only better at moving, but better at sitting still. When we're overweight and out of shape our bodies are quite inefficient. It's hard for our breathing muscles to push against fat and hard for our heart to pump blood through our bodies. Even sleeping is not as effective at resting us when we're overweight and out of shape.
So if you really want to get the most out of your R and R time, eat healthy and get fit. You'll decrease stress, decrease blood pressure, decrease breathing effort, and increase sleep quality.
It really does feel great to eat healthy and be fit.
Let's get out of this "perfect storm" scenario. I want to read reports that tell us we're the most fit and healthy generation ever.
Wouldn't it feel great to hear that?