I was doing research on the web recently, looking up statistics in health and fitness. I was disillusioned at the numbers reported. The information was disturbing. It made me more determined to learn how to be “amazing amid alarming statistics” in the United States. Below are some of the facts that I reviewed.
- 88% of Americans are metabolically unhealthy. What is metabolism and why is it important? Metabolism is the chemical reaction in the body’s cells that change food into energy. Metabolism is important because it is the conversion of food to energy so our bodies can move, think, and grow. During this process, calories in food and drinks mix with oxygen to make energy the body needs.
- New data from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) found that 60% of Americans have at least one chronic disease and 40% of Americans have two or more chronic diseases. Chronic disease is a conditions that last 1 year or more, require ongoing medical attention, and limit activities of daily living. Some examples of chronic diseases are heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
- Poor diet and low levels of physical activity affect overall health and are major risk factors for obesity. Obesity in the US is at 42% for adults and 20% for children.
- 66% of US adults are on a prescription drug. Prescription drug use is high for older people and those with chronic conditions.
Overall, those numbers do not sound positive for the American population. When compared to other countries, America is rated number 35 out of 169 countries in terms of overall health.
What can be done? Do I have to be one of these numbers? Of course not, these areas of concern and statistics can be changed. It takes some hard work and dedication, but new habits and changes can happen. Below are six priority areas as ideas of where to get started. Pick 1-2 suggestions to start with and concentrate on them. Once they become habits, add 1-2 more to your routine.
- Exercise – take a 30-minute walk 3-7 times a week.
- Lift weights – add muscle mass to your body and lower the amount of fat.
- Drink water – keep hydrated, drink ½ your body weight in oz of water each day (100-pound person would drink 50 oz of water).
- Food – Eat whole, nutritious foods instead of highly processed foods.
- Sleep – get a good night sleep every night by sleeping 7-8 hours.
- Smoking and alcohol- limit the use of unhealthy substances for the body.