Health and Its Dimensions

The most common theme of most cultures is fitness but there are different concepts of health as a part of their culture. Earlier health was considered as “absence of disease” which is not true. Health is not only the absence of disease it has various aspects. According to the latest definition wellbeing is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely an absence of disease or infirmity.

Healthiness is a process of continuous adjustment to the changing demands of living and of the changing meanings we give to the life. It helps people live well, work well and enjoy themselves.

New philosophy of health regard health as a fundamental right, it is an essence of productive life, it is an integral part of development and it is the central to the concept of quality of life and is a world wide social goal.

There are various dimensions of fitness it is not only physical factor corresponding to strength other factor included are mental, social, spiritual, emotional and vocational.

Physical dimensions imply the notion of perfect functioning of body. Good complexion a clean skin, bright eyes, lustrous hair, firm body, sweet breath, good appetite, sound sleep, regular activity of bowels and bladder, smooth, easy and well coordinating bodily movements.

Mental dimension does not only include absence of mental illness. Good mental health is the ability to respond to various aspects of life of varying experiences with flexibility and a good sense of well understanding.

Social well-being implies harmony and a good relation of an individual with the family members and the society. The interpersonal ties of a person and the involvement with the society are known as social well-being.

Spiritual dimension includes the search of an individual to find himself and to find the ultimate faith. Once a person has attained that ultimate faith it gives him a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.

Emotional dimension includes the feelings and emotions and if a person is emotionally strong and satisfied he is safe from stress, depression and the person can perform all the roles of his life well.

Vocational dimension includes the work. It is believed that working is good for physical condition and work is sometimes fruitful in maintain both mental and physical condition of a human.

Source by Clara Ghomes

What is the Definition of Cardiovascular Health and Why is Cardiovascular Health Important?

What is the definition of cardiovascular health?

Cardiovascular health is a perfectly functioning heart and connected blood vessels that include, arteries, veins, capillaries and valves. All these put together form the cardiovascular system in the body and together they are responsible for transporting blood and nutrients to the various parts of the body and carrying back waste products from the organs to other organs to get the blood cleaned.

Cardiovascular health is the condition of all the components of the cardiovascular system(CV). It is important to keep the cardiovascular system healthy in order to live long and healthy. Without the proper functioning of this system the vital organs will begin to malfunction and will soon fail. Death will occur within days if not hours.

The heart is the main component of the CV system. It is responsible for pumping blood to all the parts of the body. It pumps de-oxygenated blood to the lungs where the blood is oxygenated and then pumps this oxygenated blood to the other parts where the blood picks up nutrients and delivers them to the body organs that need them. The blood also carries impurities from the organs to the liver and the kidneys where the blood is purified.

Why is cardiovascular health important?

It is important to exercise the heart to strengthen it and keep it in a state that can be best described as the best of health. This is achieved by making the heart pump rapidly for a few minutes each day. The best way to exercise the cardiovascular system is through cardiovascular exercises. These exercises are designed to male the heart pump fast and furiously strengthening the whole cardiovascular system in the process.

Source by Tynan Slade

Health Benefits of Activated Carbon Air Filters – They Can Do More Than You Think

There has been a lot of discussion lately regarding whether activated carbon (charcoal) air filters really do provide any measurable health benefits. Well, the answer according to research is definitely ‘yes’, but for the sake of our health, we’d better take their word for it and err on the side of caution. Why? The type of indoor air pollutants that activated carbon removes are of the chemical, gas, and odor nature, and it’s those types of pollutants that can cause a range of problems, both in the short term and over time-problems such as allergies, asthma, COPD, heart disease, cancer and more.

Ever wonder how some illnesses or just ‘looking older’ just seems to ‘suddenly’ appear, out of nowhere? Truth is, research shows that most illnesses, bodily dysfunction, even aging don’t just ‘show up’ one day. They are the result of a buildup of pollution in the body, and over time, this pollution gets in the way of normal cell function. And when cells don’t function properly, they change, lose their shape, and often die. And if the air we breathe on a daily basis isn’t being cleaned of the chemical and vapor-based pollutants found in most homes and offices with a quality air purifier with activated carbon (charcoal) filters, that means our bodies are absorbing those pollutants that cause our cells to change and die off prematurely. And that means, at some point, after enough cells have mutated or started working improperly, we’re going to have health problems.

The good news is that most of these health problems can be prevented by properly cleaning up or indoor air, specifically by using activated carbon or charcoal air filters. Why indoor air? Well, since we breathe about 3000 gallons of air per day and it’s been proven that most homes & offices have polluted air–if we use a quality air purifier with an activated carbon filter to absorb the toxins, our bodies won’t have to absorb them. Does that mean that we might feel better, look younger, have fewer allergies, asthma and other health problems? Recent research says ‘yes’!

And if you have an air purifier or filtration system in your room, home, or office, it’s very important to buy the replacement carbon air filters for the units on a regular basis. That’s because as carbon or charcoal absorbs pollutants, eventually the carbon becomes ‘saturated’, meaning that it has lost its ‘stickiness’ and can’t absorb any more, which means it will now allow the chemical and gas polluted air to pass directly through-and get blown out into the air even more than it would if you didn’t have an air cleaner! Most people don’t realize this, but not changing a carbon air filter can actually increase allergies, asthma, and can speed the development of serious health problems, again, simply because polluted air is being circulated more.

Bottom line? For the sake of your health, disease prevention, even premature aging prevention, our recommendations are 1) if you don’t have a quality air purifier or carbon air filtration system in your home, room, office or anywhere you spend time indoors, definitely get one or as many as required to thoroughly clean the air, and make sure it has a good amount of activated carbon (Blueair, Austin Air or Aller Air brands are the best), and 2) if you DO have an air purifier with a quality carbon air filter, be certain to buy the replacement filters on time, or sooner to prevent polluted air from being blown around. Carbon air filters are very powerful for preventing illness and safeguarding the health of your family-but only if replaced regularly and used properly. Also, be sure that your air purifier has enough carbon in the filter to handle the square footage of your indoor area for at least a year.

Cheap carbon air filters typically don’t have enough carbon to handle much square footage. And if there’s too little carbon, it will get used up quickly and can cause you to have to replace the filters too often, which can be a hassle, and costly. And that also means, if you need more than one air purifier with carbon filters to handle the square footage of your home, room or office, definitely get what you need the first time as you’ll get cleaner air, and it will save you money in the long run. And this is even more critical for industrial or commercial air filtration situations: make sure to get an air cleaner with the output capacity and enough carbon to handle the situation properly-your health, your employees’ health, and preventing OSHA fines could depend on it.

Source by Rex Murphy

The Health Benefits of Brie Cheese

There are different kinds of Brie cheese, including Blue Brie which is made from goat’s milk. Brie de Meaux is the real French Brie and once you have tasted this Queen of Cheeses, you will not want any other kind of creamy cheese. However if you are thinking about your health and on a weight loss diet, this is perhaps one of the foodstuffs to avoid, as it contains saturated fat, and will boost cholesterol levels. You may also have a lactose intolerance so Blue Brie may be your best bet as the blue veins in the cheese are a bacteria related to penicillin, Penecillium roqueforti. This is actually good for the digestive system as it combats harmful bacteria in the gut.

Brie is a good source of calcium, good for healthy bones and teeth, but is high in sodium, with 178.6 mg per ounce; the recommended daily intake of sodium is 1,500 mgs and most Americans have double this amount in their daily diets. Sodium can raise blood pressure, so you should be careful about the amount you eat. Goat’s milk Brie contains less sodium and more calcium and vitamin D levels than that made of cow’s milk, as well as having less fat and cholesterol levels. All goats’ milk cheeses are healthier than those made of cow’s milk.

One ounce of a creamy ripe Brie contains 94.9 calories and 7.9 gr of fat, with 5.9 gr protein per ounce. It contains vitamins B 12, which is good for nerves and red blood cells as well as protecting against muscle weakness, incontinence, dementia and mood swings. It also contains B2 (riboflavin) which has antioxidant properties as does selenium also contained in this cheese. Antioxidants help protect cells from damage by free radicals which can make healthy cells cancerous. However these antioxidants are present in foods such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage and fruit.

Personally I only like the real French Brie and prefer a good Camembert or any goats’ cheese, but if I buy Brie it has to be ripe and ready to drip off the knife, so if you do love this and buy an under-ripe one, don’t keep it in the fridge, but store in a cool place for a couple of days so that it ripens and is perfect to consume!

Brie made from cow’s milk is not particularly great for your health, but who could resist a piece of it occasionally? It’s one of those foods that, to coin the phrase used to advertise cream cakes in the UK, are “naughty but nice.”

Source by Lynne Evans

The Health Benefits Offered By Indian Assam CTC Tea

So, you had a long tiring day at your office? What else can be more relaxing than a cup of steaming hot tea, especially the very famous masala chai? Whether it is tea time, a little break at office, get together or any other occasion, no amount of food or drink can minimize the cravings for tea for a diehard lover of this aromatic beverage. Whether it’s raining outside, snowing or burning, tea is a staple drink to almost every family. Probably, you will second this.

Do you want to Buy Indian Masala Chai online? Well, it is a wise decision and there are plenty of reasons to support this decision of yours. The first and foremost reason – it’s easy and convenient. Secondly, there are multiple options to choose from that you might not even know about otherwise. Thirdly, you are more likely to get good discounts with reputed shops. And, lastly, you can enjoy both quality and variety under one roof.

Benefits offered by Assam tea

Apart from being your partner in stress and relaxation, Indian Assam CTC tea offers a number of other benefits. Let’s take a quick look at them:

Helps increasing alertness

In a given situation when you are busy working on an important assignment or project, your mind needs to be alert as much as possible to yield desired results. However, in most of such situations, your mind tends to overwork and gets clouded with thoughts, concepts and the urge to get it done on time. Isn’t it? In such a fix, if you sip a cup of Assam blend, its caffeine content will have positive effects on your brain, thus increasing your thinking capacity and alertness. However, you should not forget that excessive caffeine consumption can be harmful for your health. So, you should limit your cup of teas to 3 to 4 per day.

Helps preventing cancer

Not many of us know, but high quality Assam tea contains compounds like phenolic, Phytoestrogens and flavonoids. All of these compounds are very good for your health help of prevention of the most deadly disease on the earth, cancer and many other diseases. However, again you should have a check on the number of cups you have.

Helps fighting Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is a condition of the central nerve system. It mainly affects the motor system of your body that is responsible for movement. According to various researches, it has been found that drinks containing high caffeine, for example Assam tea can help a lot in reducing the chances of getting affected by Parkinson’s disease.

These are some of the major health benefits offered by Assam blends. This aromatic beverage comes in different types of flavors and variants, like Assam Loose tea, CTC and so on to calm your senses and energize you from within.

So, now that you are familiar with the healthy aspects of having tea, you should make it a habit. However, make sure not to overdo anything. That’s because – excess of everything is considered bad.

Source by Sneha Birla

Tungsten Bracelet for Strong and Healthy Men

Bracelets, when worn in the wrist, can give an edgier look to the user. Most men love to wear bracelets to enhance their outfit and perhaps be more handsome because this is another accessory they can wear aside from a classic wrist watch. With the advent of profitability in men’s accessories, there are various materials used in making bracelets such as metal, silver, diamonds, and titanium. These materials are widely used and create marketable bracelets. However, there are bracelets made not only for style and ornaments. There are some that are made in the purpose of giving healthy benefits to the user. The said item is called tungsten bracelet.

Tungsten, material used in making bracelets, is a type of metal that is said to be thrice as hard as steel. This is the reason why most tungsten bracelets have a bit of weight on them, which makes the material perfect for creating expensive-looking bracelets. Tungsten bracelet also has an incredible shine that is not only impressive but fashionable as well. Since tungsten is one of the strongest metals in the world, it also has the capacity to withstand different rigorous activities. It is reported that tungsten bracelet is always free of scratches because of its durability and strength.

Tungsten bracelet is also used in magnotherapy. This therapy is the use of magnets to heal different illnesses of the human body. According to some reports, if magnets are worn close to the body, these magnets will have positive reaction to the body, thus, improving body system. It is said that magnets specifically improves the nervous systems because magnets interacts with the underlying muscles and nerves of the body. This is also the reason why the human heart, being the largest muscle of the body, can benefit a lot from magnotherapy. Since human body system reacts well with magnets, blood flow in the body can also be improved.

Manufacturing of magnetic tungsten bracelet started way back old times. Some say that ancient people use magnets to reduce pain and cure common body aches and some of these methods can be found in old manuscripts and records. Nowadays, magnetic bracelets are still being used in different countries to heal certain sickness. Magnetic Therapy is widely used in Asian countries like Japan, China, and some parts of India and Australia. Some countries in Europe are also taking advantage of this wonderful method. Some people from Germany, United Kingdom, and America are also into magnetic bracelets to improve their body system.

High quality tungsten bracelets have high power magnets that can measure up to 3000 gauss. This measurement is said to trigger positive healthy benefits to the user’s body. This is why titanium bracelet is perfect for men because it is not only durable, it can also make the user healthier and more active. Some say that wearing magnetic bracelets like tungsten bracelet decrease the pain felt in surgeries, menstruation, back aches, and migraine. There are also reports that say magnets can minimize, if not heal, serious sickness like Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, and diabetes.

Source by Jazmine A Cunningham

Health Benefits of Desert Living

Not only is desert living a leisured and less expensive alternative to city life, it has some amazing health benefits too. Here is just a few examples of what desert life can do for you.

Air Quality

According to an environmental analysis of the Anza Borrego State Park and it’s surrounding area, “due to its remoteness” the “air quality in the Park is often good and is not necessarily characteristic of the air quality in the San Diego Basin.” Pollution has been linked with a slew of pulmonary diseases and is known to increase the risk of asthma attack and respiratory allergies. High air pollution also increases the development of asthma and respiratory diseases in children. Yes, there really is nothing like taking a breath of fresh air.


Probably one of the greatest benefits of sunshine is the production of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is critical for maintaining skeletal calcium and immune system health. It is thought that the high rates of cold and flu viruses in the winter months stems from a lack of Vitamin D production. Vitamin D deficiency is also attributed to depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), often called the ‘winter blues,’ caused by a lack of sunshine. It is suggested that in regions with little sunshine for long stretches of time, that citizens invest in expensive UV lamps to simulate sunlight.

Dry Weather

Not only does a humid afternoon leave us feeling awful, it also can breed dangerous molds and mildews in the wet winter months. Drier weather can also decrease the occurrence of lung infections and arthritis aches and pains. Not to mention that hot dry environments promote sweat production, allowing the body to release unwanted toxins and bacteria.

Quiet, Peaceful Environment

Perhaps one of the best things of all is the tranquility of living in nature. Being relatively isolated from the hustle and bustle of the city helps to bring a peace of mind to the body and soul and works wonders for reducing stress. Since chronic stress has been known to cause health issues such as heart disease, sleeping disorders, depression, digestive problems, obesity and autoimmune diseases, it stands to show that we could all use a little peace and quiet.


Ok, so hiking it’s something unique to the desert environment, but it is something that it has in spades. Being an aerobic exercise, it is important and helpful for cardiovascular health, maintaining bone density, reducing stress, and weight maintenance. Not to mention, it has entertainment value along with health value. There is always something new and different to see and experience on the trail. Don’t forget about our great places to hike at Butterfield Ranch Resort.

Source by Michelle Huss

Americans Without Health Insurance and Life Expectancy

A recent Harvard study concluded that approximately 45 thousand people expire in the United States annually due to their lack of insurance coverage or adequate healthcare. All in all, research has shown that American individuals who have not attained the age of 64 and are not insured are 40% more likely to die, compared to individuals who are insured.

Results of findings came during a time of heated banter in regard to democratic effort to make change to the United State’s $2.5 trillion health care industry and attempts to expand healthcare coverage amongst Americans while decreasing healthcare cost.

President Obama has tagged the healthcare face-lift a top domestic policy priority. However, his plan has been attacked by critics and slowed by feverish congress debate. Since there is so much money involved in healthcare and so much potential for loss, it is certainly not surprising that insurers and healthcare industries are in opposition to parts of the plan.

The Harvard study, funded by a federal research grant, was published in an online edition of the American Journal of Public Health. It was released by Physicians for a National Health Agenda, which favors government-insured or “single-payer” health insurance.

A comparable study in 1993 found that individuals without insurance had a 25 percent higher probability of death, according to the Harvard group. The Institute of Medicine later used that data in its 2002 assessment showing approximately 18,000 individuals a year died because they lacked coverage.

Part of the amplified risk now is due to the growing ranks of those who are uninsured. Roughly 46.3 million people in the United States lacked coverage in 2008, up from 45.7 million in 2007. Unfortunately, our nation has experienced record layoffs and downsizing in recent years. Thus, vaulting the number of individuals who must obtain individual coverage or keep their current coverage through a Cobra policy. Cobra is simply an extension of an individual’s previous health coverage (prior to layoff). However, where the employer would cover 50 percent (or more) of the insurance cost, the individual must cover the entire cost to be insured (upon going on Cobra). It is not surprising that many decide to go without vs. doubling their current cost to be insured.

Another dynamic is that there are fewer places for the uninsured to get satisfactory care. “Public hospitals and clinics are scaling back across the country in cities like New Orleans, Detroit and others” per David Himmelstein (Co-author of the Harvard study) and additional co-author Dr. Steffie Woolhandler alleged that the findings show that without adequate coverage, uninsured people are more likely to pass away due to complications connected with avoidable diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

County hospitals are not known for their speedy service or short waiting periods. In fact, in 2009 a Dallas business owner died while waiting to be seen in the county hospital. The individual (Mike Herera) entered the county emergency room suffering from his recurring hernia problem. When asked to provide his level of pain, Mr. Herera stated it was a 10 on a scale of 1-10. His vital signs were normal and he was labeled an “urgent case” (a 3 on an emergency scale of 5). However, Mr. Herera was not the only “urgent case” as his waiting room experience reached 19 hours before he suffered a heart attack and died (in the waiting room).

Though the extremity of Mr. Herera’s situation is amongst the minority, the likelihood of having an extended wait while in the county hospital is very high. Unfortunately, this is one of the few available options for the uninsured. Meanwhile, politicians (and the every day American) continue to banter over the healthcare reform being passed. Undoubtedly, there are valid points to both sides of the healthcare reform debate. Many have chosen to join the debate in the aftermath of President Obama’s push for reform. You can’t help but wonder how much better healthcare might be if those same individuals stepped up and attempted to do something about the inept system prior to the reform. The “numbers” don’t lie (regarding uninsured life expectancy). Unfortunately, the only numbers that seem to matter to many politicians, healthcare providers and insurers are the numbers on those little green pieces of paper.

Simeon Knight

Source by Simeon Knight

How to Perform a Penis Health Exam

Every man wants to live a long, healthy life with no surprise medical issues. In order to ensure the best chances of that happening, it pays to pay close attention to every part of the body, including the penis and surrounding area. Though a man gets a close look at the equipment during usual daily penis care, once a month he should take the time to really look things over and search for any problems, such as bumps, lesions, redness or painful areas.

Understanding how to do a penis exam is vitally important. Here’s what a man needs to know in order to do the penis exam correctly and help ensure the best of penis health from one month to the next.

Steps to the best penis exam

Once a month, a man should take the time to explore his penis and surrounding area. This is best done immediately after a hot shower, when penis skin is relaxed from the warmth of the water.

1. Look at the skin. Using a mirror to help, look at the skin of the penis and surrounding area. The idea is to look for anything out of the ordinary, including discolorations, strange spots, scrapes or bruises, lesions, moles or blemishes. Anything unusual should be noted, as a man can look at it again next month to see if there have been any changes. Anything that appears to be severe should be checked by a doctor.

2. Check out the penis. The idea here is to feel for any lumps or abnormalities in the penis itself. Using one hand to hold the base of the penis, slide the other hand upward, feeling for any strange changes on the way. Make note of any bumps, ridges or painful areas. If an erection happens during this exam, that’s just fine – that provides a man with the opportunity to feel for bumps and the like, things he might miss during the excitement of masturbation. It’s easier to feel for strange changes when a man is in an ‘all business’ kind of mindset!

3. Feel around the groin. Using two fingers, press all around the groin area. There might be some lumps here and there, from lymph nodes and the like; these are normal. The idea is to do this on a monthly basis, so a man becomes very familiar with what the area feels like. That way, he can tell if any of those bumps change over time. During this part of the penis exam, make note of any painful areas.

4. Examine the testicles. Look at the testicles with the mirror. They should look as they always do; one might be larger than the other or might ‘hang’ a bit more, but over time a man will come to know what is normal for him. Using slight pressure, take the testicle between thumb and forefingers and run the hand along it, feeling for any bumps or lumps. At the back of the testicle will be a small tube that will feel soft and might be tender to the touch; this is perfectly normal.

5. Take notes. Though it might seem strange, this can come in handy in a few months, when a man sees or feels something odd and wonders if it was there in the past. By taking a few notes right now after the penis exam, a man can get to know what is normal for his body.

Make use of penis health crème

After the penis exam, a man should apply a top-notch penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin). Look for a crème that contains vitamins A, C, D, B5 and E, as well as amino acids that can enhance penis health. Not only does a good penis health crème work wonders for the skin, the regular application gives a man one more opportunity to feel for any problems, thus leading to even better penis health.

Source by John Dugan

What Has Changed in Health & Fitness Over the Last 30 Years?

There have been many changes in fitness over the past 30 years. It’s human nature to reminisce about times past. That’s great but lets not forget that things change as well. This is certainly true in the area of health and fitness. “If you do what you have always done, you will get the results you have always gotten” is true, but what if the situation changes? Then what used to work is no longer a viable and effect way to get the results that we want. In this article I will outline seven items that have changed over the past 30 or so years that affect the way we view health, fitness, exercise and what is considered “best”. Let’s look at some of these changes in Fitness.

1. Activity level

This change in fitness is pretty obvious. We just don’t move around as much as we used to 30 years ago.

Currently, the average sedentary person living in an urban setting takes 900-3000 steps a day. Uh… that’s a puny number! In the journal of sports medicine existing literature was pulled together to set a general guideline of what a good number of steps per day would be

The author Dr. Catrine Tudor-Locke translated different physical activity into steps-per-day equivalents. A rate of fewer than 5,000 is classified as sedentary, 5,000 to 7,499 is low active, 7,500 to 9,999 is somewhat active 10,000 or more is active and 12,500 or more is very active. So what does 900 make us? Close to dead! But its not hard to imagine. Get up from, take elevator to car park, drive car, take elevator to office, sit down, order fast food, reverse the process to go home and go back to bed. Just to note, 1km is about 1300 steps.

Its gotten to the point where we have to purposely inconvenience ourselves to get our activity level up. Here are some suggestions (that actually show us how pathetic our average activity levels have become).

Park at the far end of the car park and walk to your building Instead of dropping the kids off in front of the school, park a couple of streets before it and walk them the rest of the way… 10,000 is actually considered a LOW estimate for children.

Go round the shopping centre or supermarket in a random. With today’s super malls, this is a big thing!

Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator (well if you work on the 50th floor, maybe climb halfway to start)

Give the dog an extra 5 minutes on his walk (we need it even more than him)

Stop emailing colleagues in the same office, instead go over and talk to them (shockingly effective considering how much email we send each day!… great for team building as well)

Go for a walk during your lunch break, walk to get your lunch or to find somewhere to eat your lunch

Get up and do something, run up and down the stairs for example during TV ads (no excuses here!)

Walk to the corner shop instead of driving or popping in on your way home

Walk to friends houses instead of driving

Take public transport and walk from the train station

Dr. David Bassett studied an Amish community to see what things were like in the past. These guys have no cars, no electricity and do hard manual labor to put food on the table. Its like time travel to the past. They eat 3 large meals a day with lots of meat, vegetables and natural starches like potatoes.

The 98 Amish adults Bassett surveyed wore pedometers for a week. The men averaged 18,000 steps a day. The women took an average of 14,000 steps.

The men spent about 10 hours a week doing heavy work like plowing, shoeing horses, tossing hay bales, and digging. The women spent about 3.5 hours a week at heavy chores. Men spent 55 hours a week in moderate activity; women reported 45 hours a week of moderate chores like gardening and doing laundry. Wow that’s a lot of manual labor. Get a pedometer (its only like 20 bucks) and see how you fare.

2. Fat Percentages and Obesity

Activity level leads us right on to this point about obesity. The scary obesity rate is one of the most obvious changes in fitness.

The obesity rate among the participants in the study of the Amish population was 4 percent, as determined by body mass index, or BMI. The current obesity rate among the urban populations is 30% or more. OK the obesity percentages are a scary thing because obesity is already in the “VERY high risk of a lot of bad ways to die” category. There is still the overweight category (obviously fat but not hitting the medically obese range) to consider. These people are at a high risk already!

The total percentages of overweight + obese are really wild… hitting close to 70% in some cities. Compare this to the average in the 1980s. 10-15% obesity in most cities. It rose to the mid 20% in 1995 and its now at an all time high.

3. Diet

OK linked to point no.2 is of course diet. This is another obvious change in fitness. Its very simple actually. We now eat more refined foods (white bread, sugar, rice, flour, noodles). In the body these give pretty much the same response – FAT storage. The only time we should eat these items is immediately after hard training. As we can tell from point no.1, not much of any training is going on. But lots of eating is!

We also eat less fresh fruits, vegetables and meats. We eat more snacks like chips and cookies (which are also refined despite what advertisers claim).

These changes in fitness are made more troubling because even natural foods today are not as good for us as they used to be. Current farming methods make vitamin and mineral content in fruits and vegetables drop about 10-40% depending on the mineral. Corn fed meats don’t give us as good an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio as we used to get from grass fed and free range animals. (that means not so many healthy fatty acids for us)

And of course, we are also simply consuming more calories. The Amish people in the study in point no.1 ate about 3600 calories/day for men and 2100 calories/day for women. Many sedentary people consume this much and more! How? Well a fully “featured” gourmet coffee from coffee bean or Starbucks can add up to 500 calories in an instant of caffeine folly.

That’s 2 hours of walking for an average sized lady.

Just remember, calorie quality counts as well. 2000 calories of vegetables, meat and healthy fats is infinitely better than 2000 calories from french fries. Its close to impossible to get fat on the first, and nearly impossible not to get fat with the second.

I like this car analogy. If you had a 2million dollar dream car, would you put low grade or high grade petrol into it? High grade of course! Then why do some people put low grade filth into their bodies which are so much more important than the car we drive?

4. Games children play

The average child who grows up in an urban environment is a motor-skill weakling. As a hobby, I coach youth basketball. In our talent scouting, I have kids do a very simple drill of dribbling in and out and around cones. There are so many kids who can’t do it and some who I think might fall down if asked to RUN around the cones without the ball! This is in contrast to the past where kids ran around, chased each other, played physical games and sports of all kinds, where the playground was the center of fun for young kids. This lack of activity not only causes a change in fitness for the child in his/her youth, but has a profound long term effect as well.

Of course this change in fitness is a result of a combination of possible factors.

Parents who only consider academic success to be worth striving for, who only give a child recognition and praise when they do well in academic subjects.

An education system who also values book knowledge above other things and takes away physical education classes to put more academic lessons in.

Poorly taught PE lessons that don’t help a child develop motor skills in the key early years Busy double-income families where fathers are not free to play with their children (or don’t care enough to… money isn’t everything dads)

The maddening computer game addiction situation where virtual life is more important than real life. I believe this is the reason for all the empty basketball courts in my neighbourhood. It used to be that teams lined up to play there. Now only people my age (late 20s to 30s) play. No young kids are there any more.

But actually, so what? The issue is that if kids stink at sport and physical activity, the well known psychological factor of “competence” comes is. Simply put, in general, we do what we are good at. If our next generation is poor at sport and physical activity, they are even less likely to do any of it! Which combined with items 1 to 3, make for a deadly health crisis for many countries. Obesity costs the UK 7.4 billion in national health care per year! If we don’t help our kids, that’s only going to grow to be a bigger and bigger burden for everybody.

5. Social Support

This is a more subtle change in fitness. People are communal animals. We stick with things because there is a supportive community behind us. Even drug and alcoholism rehab centers recognise this. We all need social support. But social links are getting weaker. And no, Friendster and MySpace links don’t make up for it.

In a more connected but less close world (I know so many people who are only comfortable behind a computer screen and not in front of a real person) there is less social support than in the past (extended families, communal living, strong friendships within a neighbourhood etc) and its hard to stick with something which requires dedication and sacrifice like an exercise program. I’m not a sociologist but I do believe there is a reason that exercise classes do better in terms of membership than individualized training. Most of them certainly are not as effective as great individual coaching. But the social factor does come in when sustaining a lifestyle change is involved.

6. Free Time

This subtle change in fitness is pretty clear. We just have less time that we “own”. Bosses, social, family and other commitments make free time a very precious commodity and it adds difficulty to the fact that time is our only non renewable resource. When we choose to exercise or spend time cooking to keep a healthy lifestyle, we are competing with movies, games, TV and other things for free time. We know that exercise is good for us, but it not only has to be good for us, it has to be BETTER in our minds than the latest episode of desperate housewives, or the latest computer game. That’s the issue. We need to prioritize long term health over temporary fun.

7. Training methods

OK here is where we are doing well. 30 years ago the aerobics craze took the western world by storm. Its not a very good training method both in terms of results, and in terms of results per unit of time. Add that to the fact that we have such minimal time to train, we can’t afford to train in a sub-optimal way. We know a lot more now. Fortunately for us, there are good methods that smart coaches use to improve training efficiency and get RESULTS even with less training time. Some of these include smartly designed resistance training programs, interval training and good assessment techniques to determine individual needs. If you have a coach like that in your corner, you can turn back the clock and avoid becoming one of the ever growing statistic of people who’s health is headed in the wrong direction. Stay fit and strong and good luck!

Source by Jon Wong