Forty, fat and finished? If you recognize yourself, give or take a decade on the age, I urge you to read on, it’s quite likely you suffer from metabolic syndrome, and you need to start saving your own life now! Ok, you’re in good company, you and an estimated 25% of all American adults, but you are likely to die from it unless you break your old habits of a poor diet and lack of regular exercise. Let me show you that a healthy lifestyle based on clean food and regular exercise is easier than you may think.
What is metabolic syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of lifestyle diseases, typically as a result of a poor diet combined with lack of exercise. The cluster includes waist line obesity, insulin resistance, hypertension, low levels of beneficiary cholesterol (HDL) and high level of triglycerides (leading to atherosclerosis). Most definitions state that a person suffering from waistline obesity and any two of the other diseases have metabolic syndrome. Other names for metabolic syndrome are Syndrome X , Reaven’s syndrome and in Australia they call it CHAOS, read out the acrynom and it should be pretty clear that you need to stop joking around – Coronary artery disease, Hypertension, Atherosclerosis, Obesity, and Stroke.
Is it a big deal?
Yes it is. An estimated 70 -80 million Americans suffer from metabolic syndrome and according to WHO the top causes of death in developed countries are ischaemic heart disease (coronary artery disease) followed by cerebrovascular disease (stroke). The causes of these two diseases are the same cluster of diseases used to define metabolic syndrome and are accelerated by smoking and lack of exercise.
So what to do about it?
It’s very simple and yet often difficult to follow through on: eat clean and move freely. To make the shift from your current lifestyle to a healthy life style you need a game plan that doesn’t dramatically disrupt you life design and you need basic understanding of exercise and nutrition. I’ll be covering both in this blog so sign-up for my newsletter to make sure you don’t miss out. For now let’s start with some basic guidelines.
Keep it regular
For an overweight person regular exercise can be a daunting thought but keep in mind that we are not talking about going from the couch straight out to start running miles every day. To get over the hurdle of starting it is important to focus on ‘regular’ rather than exercise. And ‘regular’ in this context means minimum 4 and maximum 6 times a week.
Think of one, or a mix of, full body activities that you can do on a regular basis, for example walking, biking, dancing, swimming, and that is realistic for you to commit to doing regularly. You may only enjoy swimming but if the swimming pool is on the other side of town it’s probably not realistic to commit to going there a minimum of four times a week. Then it’s better to mix the swimming up with a brisk walk around your neighbourhood to make sure you pass the minimum threshold of four times a week.
Once you have committed to regular full body movement you just have to get started. Don’t think about length or intensity of your exercise, that will come in due time. The first time you may manage 10 minutes, the week after 15 min. It doesn’t matter! The key to success is to keep it regular. In coming articles we will discuss how to step it up and how to find a way of exercising that suit your life design.
Keep it close to it’s natural state
When it comes to a healthy diet there are many opinions out there but to save you from the arduous task of evaluating your options I will make it simple for you and educate you on how to eat clean. For now, lets keep one little piece of advise in mind: on your next visit to the super market, try to buy all your food as close to the perimeter of the shop as possible.
Sounds silly? Well, shops are designed so that all the fresh food that need to be filled up often, is placed close to the warehouse so it is easy and non-disruptive to fill up the shelves during opening hours. That goes for both the fresh meat and fish as well as for the fruit and vegetables and this is where you find great fuel for your body and the starting point for cleaning up your diet.
Keep posted for tips on how to eat clean, move freely and live consciously. Until next time, start walking!
coronary disease, diabetes, eat clean, move freely, natural movement, obesity
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