One of the biggest misconceptions in our culture that promotes great extremes today is that one needs to continuously exercise vigorously just about every day to remain healthy. That is simply not the case. We at DailyEndorphin fully realize that the majority of us simply don’t have the time or energy to set aside for that kind of strenuous, extreme workout regimen and thus will never have “six-pack abs” nor look like one of those “ripped” models that we see on all of the fitness commercials these days.
However, we can still be healthy while maintaining a few extra pounds on our bodies, so why not choose a path to, and lifestyle of, moderation in terms of both our diet and physical activity routines? Why not just make the simple changes to our lifestyle, that, when done over long periods of time, will result in significant gains from a health, if not pure vanity, standpoint? The bottom line is, do it for the sake of your HEALTH, not your vanity, and reject the “all or nothing” extreme notions of our culture today. A 10 or 20 minute walk is far better than none at all. Having tastes of very small portions of decadent food once in a while, but sharing with someone else is better than devouring the whole thing yourself. Further, incremental gains will slowly change one’s mindset and bring concepts of healthy behaviors to the forefront of one’s consciousness, which will in turn help to cement new habits over the longer term. Baby steps, folks.
A couple of recent articles about the surge in Type 2 Diabetes in both young and adult highlight just how important it is for us all to get out and simply move our bodies regularly. The first article discussing importance of moderate physical activity appeared in the LA Times on 3/21. Here are a couple of key excerpts:
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released figures in January showing that the number of American adults with prediabetes had jumped from 57 million in 2008 to 79 million in 2010. During the same period, the number with full-on diabetes grew from 23.6 million to 26 million, the vast majority of which are Type 2 cases.
The best remedy for prediabetes is not medication, says Dr. Andrew Drexler, director of the Gonda (Goldschmied) Diabetes Center at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine — it’s weight loss and exercise. Prediabetics, unlike diabetics, don’t have to focus so much on their intake of sugar, he adds: “Counting calories is more important than the composition of the diet.”
The other article that appeared recently in the Washington Post on 3/22. It discusses the surge in Type 2 diabetes cases in people younger than 20 years old, and some of the remedies to help stem the tide. Here are a couple of key excerpts:
Officials are concerned that the number of children already identified as having Type 2 diabetes is just the tip of the iceberg. In a national study of 2,000 eighth-grade students from communities at high risk for diabetes, more than half of the kids were overweight or obese. Only 1 percent had diabetes — but almost a third of them had pre-diabetes, according to Lori Laffel, chief of the Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult Section of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston and a principal investigator on the study.
Annie says she was “most definitely overweight” at the time of her diagnosis, and she has already made major lifestyle changes to control the disease. By exercising and cutting back on carbohydrates, she has lost 12 pounds so far. She has reduced her need for insulin from several injections a day to just one each night, and she’s hoping that soon she’ll be able to put the needle aside and just use an oral drug, metformin.
The good news is that with a combination of small incremental changes in one’s lifestyle over the long term, meaning both diet and consistent, small to moderate amounts of physical activity (or “exercise”), these trends can be reversed over time. Our programs at www.dailyendorphin.com are designed to help those who are looking to make those very changes, so why not get started today on an exercise challenge among your friends, family or colleagues?