Mississippi has the highest rate of obesity for the third year in a row. Not only that, but two-thirds (that’s nearly 70%!!!) of Mississippians are overweight or obese. Wow! Here’s a link to read more about that.
Want to know if you are obese or overweight? Check out your BMI here:
Considering we are the poorest state, it’s not a surprise that we have the highest rate of obesity. Cheap food is usually not very nutritious. Yet, I think that we can’t blame only that for our obesity problem. A lot of it has to do with ignorance about nutrition and exercise.
You may be asking so what, and the reason that I am blogging about it is because I sincerely care about the health and well-being of others. I think I probably should have been a nutritionist or personal trainer. Not that I’m perfect. I can eat a huge helping of Coldstone Chocolate Devotion or piping hot pizza with the best of them. But I know that I can indulge in moderation and still remain healthy and happy with myself. I spent many years living in ignorance about nutrition and exercise myself. I used to cook with tons of oil, thought meat must come with every meal, and had no issues with eating two plates of food at supper. I thought that the only way to lose weight was to drink coffee all day long and pretty much starve myself until the 5 or 10 lbs came off. I didn’t understand anything about calories or macro nutrients. My exercise on those rare occasions when I felt like I needed to lose weight consisted of walking at the park for 20 minutes or lifting weights for 10 minutes a day, none of which lasted more than a month or so. No wonder I never got the results I wanted!
I think that people who do want to change their lifestyle (and it has to be a lifestyle change, because diets do NOT work for the long-term) go into it with some really strange or confused ideas about nutrition, exercise, and weight loss. So I guess that’s why I’m blogging about it. I know so much more now than I did a few years ago, and my teacher’s instinct has me wanting to educate the world about being healthy, because it’s something that I really care about.
So here is the first installment of healthy info for anyone out there who might be misinformed or just curious:
Most people don’t know that cardio should be done most days a week (meaning about 5 days per week usually with a day or so of rest), ideally for 40-60 minutes per session at a moderate intensity. Beginners should start out at 30 minutes and work their way up to 60 minutes. And the intensity part is really important. If you aren’t getting you heart rate up, you’re wasting your time. So that means that if you’re walking along leisurely with your girlfriend for 20 or 30 minutes each evening while gossiping your head off and never getting your heart rate up beyond what you anger does to it as you hear the latest thing that Ms. Audacity did last week, then you really aren’t getting much benefit. Here is a link to info about heart rate and exercise intensity:
The following link provides some really good info about cardio, a.k.a aerobic exercise.
I like to vary my cardio. There is such a thing as muscle memory, where if you do the same thing over and over, your muscles learn that movement and don’t have to work as hard to do it anymore, therefore burning less calories and getting less benefit. So you incorporate muscle confusion by varying your workouts. For instance, if you’re a runner, you would do different types of runs per week, such as the long slow run, the tempo run, hillwork, and speed sessions. You can also confuse your muscles by crossing training (doing different types of exercises, like biking, swimming, and yoga), and interval training (where you speed up for a certain amount of time and then slow back down and do that over and over – interval training, by the way, really torches the calories!).
I hope that I’ve provided some good, useful info for someone out there who wants to make a change.