Are we putting too much weight on weight?
We all have that friend; the “skinny fat” friend. The friend who is slim through diet but is flat out opening a jar or, the worst version of this friend, the one who is blessed with super-mutant genes, where they can pretty much eat whatever they like and not gain weight. However, while these people may look like the epitome of good health, their insides may tell a different story. Research has found that older adults with a healthy BMI but high levels of body fat are at greater risk of cardiovascular disease and death then previously realised. So while many of us are worried about battling the bulge, a lot of us have forgotten about the importance of also getting fit. Weight is just one of the indicators of poor health. It is what’s ‘under the hood’ that has the greatest impact on our health; our blood sugar levels, our cholesterol and our blood pressure. These indicators are significantly influenced by our body-fat percentage. Simply dieting will eliminate weight, but it won’t tone anything and because of our physiology (particularly in women), the fat cells in our body are world class clingers. The only way to decrease our body-fat percentage is to do some weight-bearing activity. Cardio activity without strength training is useless, while it will make you lose more weight, you won’t actually be altering your body-fat percentage. There are other factors that are still important, we still need to make sure we are eating healthy foods in the right quantities and getting plenty of sleep each night. Strength training doesn’t necessarily mean simply lifting weights. Other good examples include circuit training, yoga and pilates. If weights appear a bit daunting you could also try using resistance bands or swiss balls. At the end of the day, it isn’t about turning into a muscled up gym junkie that scares small children but simply decreasing your chronic disease risk factors through more than just a healthy BMI.