Human beings are designed by nature to move and exercise every day, and studies have shown that this is a relic of the early hominid days, when our ancestors hunted big game rather than eating fruits in trees like chimpanzees and gorillas do today. In the modern age, hardly anyone is running after their food, but the human body is still optimized to burn calories and work out the muscles every day, and in the modern sedentary age, this can be a problem. Many American kid and adults are not getting enough exercise, even if various health organizations suggest they should, and that, combined with fast food and highly processed food, means that obesity rates are very high today, with many American kids and adults overweight or even obese. But for any able-bodies individual, it’s completely possible to take control of one’s health and turn this around. A combination of a better diet with exercise equipment, playing sports, or fitness equipment at home can put someone’s health back on track. What role might sports play in a weight loss program? And what does a better diet look like?
It is no secret that many adolescents and adults today are overweight, and there are some common reasons for this. One is a sedentary lifestyle that doesn’t involve cardio or sports. Kids today spend record amounts of time using electronic screens indoors rather than exercising and playing, and this means that not enough calories are being burned to maintain a healthy weight. In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has stated that only one in three kids today is physically active. Even on school days, many kids and adolescents are spending hours per day on electronic screens, even on school days, and this promotes sedentary behavior. And adults are not doing any better; only 53% of adults aged 18 and over meet the CDC’s recommended amount of aerobic physical activity, and only 23.5% of those adults meet the guidelines for aerobics and muscle-strengthening activity, such as sports and lifting weights or other resistance training. Adults often pass up on sports or going to the gym in favor of sedentary office jobs or, like kids, spending a lot of time with electronic screens.
Another issue is the diet. A lot more fast food is available now as compared to the 1970s, and this food nearly always has added sugars, fats, or oils to make it taste better, but these are huge sources of unhealthy calories that can quickly add pounds to a person’s body. The same is true for processed foods, which are designed to add those ingredients to make them taste better. Such foods are often cheaper than healthier ones, making them even more appealing to customers. But it is a threat to someone’s health. What can be done?
A personal fitness program will look different based on who is following it, and age, sex, intended weight loss goal, and health issues may shape what the program looks like. A person should first consult his or her doctor before launching a home fitness program, especially if that person has complications such as a bad back or heart issues, recent surgery, or diabetes. Once the doctor sets some guidelines, a person may start their program.
One strategy is to improve diet. Fast food and processed foods should be abandoned in favor of wholesome ingredients, ranging from chicken and fish to fruits and vegetables, beans, wheat grains, and milk and cheese. This can even open up new options for home cooking, which can be both healthy and fun. This will also boost nutrition by quite a bit.
A good exercise program is the other half of such a health transformation. A person can get fit as well as they are safety able to, and both aerobics and muscle-strengthening activities can be done. This can burn calories, develop muscles, and make a person look his or her best. Sports and other activities are not only great fun, but they also can help develop hand-eye coordination and help regulate a person’s mood, sleep schedule, and appetite. Those latter three factors are often disrupted by obesity or a sedentary lifestyle, so exercise can help with that.