Diet AND Exercise Needed for Healthy Weight
In the October, 2010 online edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that a progressive walking for exercise program and an appropriate diet can lead to healthful weight loss that is sustainable.
Almost 70% of Americans are roughly 30 or more pounds overweight. It is well known that this extra weight contributes to the development of many serious health conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer.
The obvious questions then become…”What kind of diet?” and “What kind of exercise program?”
While the diet used in the study was a reduced calorie diet, there are many dietary approaches that are conducive to weight loss and we spent previous articles reporting on metabolic typing.
The exercise program used in the study can be done by anyone and that was the purpose for the research study. While we would suggest both some weight training and cardio in an exercise program, the study used progressive walking.
Progressive walking starts you out with slow walking for short periods of time in the beginning and gradually building up to brisk walking for up to 60 minutes a day for 5 days each week. While many would debate this approach, it certainly worked for the people in the study.
Minimally, get a pedometer and follow the basic walking guidelines of walking for at least 10,000 steps per day.
All the weight loss programs in the above study included three components though we only reported on the nutritional and exercise components of their program.
The third component, which we think is equally important, is counseling and support. Like all lifestyle changes, having someone in your corner and who will hold you accountable is extremely valuable in insuring you get where you want to go. And, they can be your buddy!
So, in addition to progressive walking mentioned in the study above, we thought you may want to know more about walking and how to get more steps in every week so we checked on it and here’s what we found:
Benefits of using a pedometer include finding out how many steps you take every day now so you can judge how many more will boost your activity level appropriately. According to a recent article in USA TODAY, people who wear a pedometer walk about 2000 more steps a day (about a mile) compared to those that don’t. The same article indicated that 12,000 steps a day was a better daily goal for those wanting to lose weight.
Suggestions for increasing the number of steps you take every day, beyond just being aware of it and using a pedometer include but are certainly not limited to:
1. Walk 4 laps around the track at a local high school…~2000 steps.
2. Take a brisk 20 minute walk during your lunch break…~2000 steps.
3. Program your computer to remind you to get up every hour and walk for 100 to 200 steps…~500-1500 steps.
4. Park further away from your destination and walk. One city block…~200 steps.
5. Take a few quick laps around the mall before you start shopping.
6. Take the stairs.
7. Join and use a gym.
8. Be fun and creative finding ways to add to your steps and to your health.
Any time with diet and exercise, a support person is extremely helpful in you accomplishing your objectives. That can be us and we are happy to help with all your healthy lifestyle decisions and it can be a walking buddy.
Do you know anyone who would benefit from walking too? Why not enlist them not only for your benefit but for theirs as well? Why not refer them here so both of you can be in it to win it!
USA is Number 1
As if paying for sick care isn’t already producing a huge drain on the economy, a new study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reports that 75% of Americans will be obese or overweight by 2020. That puts America in first place for the world competition to see which nation can create the most obese population
The health care costs associated with treating obesity and the costs of treating other health challenges produced by obesity are well known.
According to researchers from Duke University, obese workers costs society more than $73 billion a year in lost productivity.
October 2010-Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine