Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fewer than 20% of Americans Get Recommended Exercise Levels...and where does the cycle start? Do YOU exercise?

Sitting here watching the ABC Evening News. There's a report on a study on exercise/obesity.

34% of us are obese. (I am. Severely obese. need to lose 7 pounds to just be plain "obese".)

Less than 20% get recommended exercise.

Of course, the states with least exercise are among those with the highest rates of obesity and diabetes. The ABC report is online now (just checked):

Regionally, the problems are even more pronounced. Inactivity runs rampant across the U.S. South and Appalachia, where nearly 30 percent of people reported that they do not get any physical exercise -- not even light activities such as golfing or gardening.
"That's probably even an underestimate of the real problem," said Dr. Antronette Yancey, a professor at UCLA who serves on a board that supports first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign. Yancey said that in self-reported data, participants often vastly overstate their actual activity.

Studies show that people  underestimate the calories they eat and overestimate their activity. So...we eat way too much and we move way too little. Not surprising, right?

What they don't correlate is: Which came first?

Do those of us who are obese stop moving cause we got fat from eating too much/too much crap? Or are they fat cause they stopped moving and are eating crap?

I use to exercise when I was normal weight and when I was "just overweight", dance a lot, bike, swim, etc...when I had the energy. As I got fatter and made poorer food choices, moving became HARD. Energy plummeted (especially as my hypothyroidism worsened). The fatter I got, the more painful/difficult it was to be on my feet, move. And the more self-conscious I got, the less I wanted to move.

I had to force myself against a huge wall of lethargy to start Pilates in 2008. It was defying my inertia, and it was hard, and some days the energy was so low, just getting going was an ordeal. I did little home or weekends. It wasn't until I addressed my macronutrients in the summer of 2010 that I felt my energy change. A change in thyroid meds helped, too. (Not more, just a different combo). Energy began to increase.

For me, fixing the FOOD began to fix not just the weight but the ENERGY issue. I wanted to move suddenly. Not like a fidgety hyper person. Like a more NORMAL perosn.

So, they really need to LOOK into this.

Gary Taubes in WHY WE GET FAT puts the cause and effect the other way around. People get fat and stop moving, not that they don't move and get fat. He tags the obesity on a bad diet, which leads to low energy (he gives the science case studies where this happens in experimental's interesting stuff) and conservation of energy by not moving.  One review of the book notes this:

Taubes makes the very interesting point that obese people are sedentary not because they are lazy, but because their energy stores are locked up (insulin traps fat energy and makes it inaccessible).  They simply don't have enough energy to exercise and therefore don't want to.  I agree with this.  Our patients who lose weight become much more interested in moving. You only need to read a few weight loss blogs to see how frequently obese, sedentary people turn into avid exercisers, even marathoners. 

I noticed this. As I ate better and lost weight by dieting, I felt more energy and WANTED to do more.  It was changing the diet that was key to the energy that then led me to be able to pump up my activities.

It may just be a double-arrowed trend--goes both ways. BUT...I think people need to consider that moving less, doing less, sitting still may come about BECAUSE one got fat.....and then that feeds into more fatness cause the diet is out of whack and what we eat is just plain BAD for us (not just too much, but unhealthful).

If you wanna see the CDC report, HERE.

Well, just some thoughts....

If you have not incorporated regular (daily?) exercise into your weight loss/heath plan, why not?  What is your roadblock?

Mine was low energy. Totally no motivation due to lethargy. Pain in feet and knees (now hips) were a factor. For a while, my muscles were  a mess due to statins (pain ALL THE DAMN TIME). Off the statins, no chronic muscle pain, but my joints are kinda a mess from decades of obesity.

What prevents you from moving/sweating/walking/jogging/dancing/Pilates-ing/Yoga-ing/weight-lifting/surfboadring/biking?

And please look at yesterday's post to give feedback on what type of item you 'd like to see in a giveaway. So far, one person said "exercise or fitness item" and one said "gift certificate to Amazon." THANKS. :)


Suzan said...

I totally agree with Taubes on this. I have had zero energy my entire adult life - got worse after I became overweight, of course. I suspect it was the undiagnosed Celiac disease and arthritis that caught up to me in adulthood and robbed my energy. When I am doing Pilates, I enjoy it, but I have little energy for anything else in life. I like walking, Pilates, Yoga, and Ballet, but I don't have the motivation most of the time. I'm not much for what Mark Sisson calls, "Chronic Cardio." It messes with your arteries and with your glycogen, and I never feel good afterward.

Julie said...

So how did I miss your question? I'm sorry about that. I love all your ideas but think a healthy recipe book would be cool. I'm a nut for recipe books though.
I got to thinking back and I always thought I was pretty active, heck I have a daycare I am always outside playing but I just must of eaten way more then I ever worked off.
I'm still working on portion controls. If one piece of meat is good, isn't two better. If one piece of gum is good, two has to be better. It's hard, I'm a farm girl, grew up with meat potatoes veggies, bread and dessert. I kept that for my family as they grew up (they are thin, me not). It's a relearning experience, lots of relearning.
I love stopping by and learning your thoughts for the day. Thank you for sharing.
Take care and have a blesesd evening.

Chubby McGee said...

"Do those of us who are obese stop moving cause we got fat from eating too much/too much crap? Or are they fat cause they stopped moving and are eating crap?"

I loved this. It's the chicken-before-the-egg thing. And you're right! Now that I'm exercising every day and eating more...I actually WANT to move more. It's crazy! It's what we put in our mouths that's killing us. And there's sooooo much food out there that causes us to grow fatter and fatter. :(

MissMommie said...

Food, Inc touched on this topic, as well. They show cased a low income family that had a choice of buying off of the $1 menu or going to the grocery store to buy healthy foods. The price of an apple was $1, so get the burger or the apple. The burger would fill them up but the apple was better for them. The father is diabetic and could barely afford his meds. It's really sad. They also said that unhealthy foods are much less expensive, so low income people feel trapped into buying the cheap unhealthy foods and then the cycle of of crap/no exercise begins.

I know it really got bad for me when I started having kids. No sleep, tired all the time, led to quick easy meals that were "crap" foods and no exercise because of being tired from the baby and no sleep...the cycle begins.

Diandra said...

First of all, I think it is discouraging to start exercising when you see fit people all over the media and everywhere you go. (That was what kept me from doing my stuff, and I know of several people who felt or still feel the same. "I bet they are laughing at me!" - So who cares? They weren't born marathon runners, either.)

Second, once you hit a certain weight level, exercising hurts. Especially when you're not doing it right or overdoing it or simply choose the wrong exercise for you.

I've been fooling around with my plans... scientists recommend at least 3x30min of exercise per week. Currently I am trying to incorporate at least 30min into each day - swimming, walking, strength training, TaeBo, WII sports (saving money to get WII Fit) - no specific plan, every day I am trying to do what I feel most like doing. This helps me remain motivated. Most days I am closer to 60 minutes than 30. ^^

Beth said...

I agree completely as well with Taubes and my experience has been similar to yours re: feeling like moving once the weight was going down. I have not integrated structured exercise into my life except when I was on the challenge and I found it really difficult to do. But I am MUCH more physically active overall than when I was heavier. I do walk quite a bit living in a big city so that helps. But I really don't like regular exercise...gah.