Obesity

Obesity : Walking for weight loss

Researchers have reported that countries where people walk a lot , have lesser incidence of obesity . These are some important facts about  walking for weight reduction.

Obesity is a serious health problem. It is known to have following adverse effects.

Social stigma

  • It reduces life expectancy of the person,
  • Poor  quality of life due to disability, like knee joint abnormality. 
  • Social stigma associated with the it cause immense mental and psychological burden on the person.

Incidence of lower back pain is increasing steadily due to increasing incidence of obesity

Some useful links

Diabetes and hypertension.

Increasing incidence of diabetes and hypertension is known to be associated with increasing prevalence of obesity.

Some useful links

Researchers from Stanford university have reported that countries where people walk a lot have lesser incidence of obesity than those which walk a little. Researchers used the smartphones to track the activity levels of people in different countries.

Using step data captured by smartphones, Stanford researchers have defined a new public health risk they call activity inequality. This occurs when large gaps develop inside a country between people who walk a lot and those who walk very little, leading to unhealthy levels of obesity. (Image credit: Tim Althoff)/ STANFORT NEWS

Walking:  The best choice 

According to the  Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health, the best way to reduce the weight is by brisk walking (≥3.5 mph or 5.6 km per hour). It is better than exercise and running as it is associated with lesser risk of injuries.

Following are its known benefits

  • Lower mortality rates from cardiovascular disease and cancer
  • Reduce Body Fat
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Increase High-Density Lipoprotein
  • Reduce Risks of Bone Fracture

Brisk walking : What does it mean ?

It is considered to be walking at the speed of 3.6 mile per hour or 5.8 km per hour. if you are walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes , it will be brisk, if you cover a distance of 2.9 km or more.

How much walking in enough ?

Dose-response effect of walking exercise on weight loss.

Recent scientific studies  suggests that 30 min of  brisk walking ( 3.5 mile/ hours) on 5 days of the week is sufficient (in combination with diet) in achieving healthful outcomes. It is important to incorporate walking in your daily work schedule rather than delegating fix hours for it. 

Why people do not walk ?

Recent  research has shown that there are three types of  perceived barriers to walking for physical activity.

Appearance barriers ( people are concerned about their looks.)

Footwear barriers (e.g., uncomfortable shoes)

 Situational barriers or the situation itself (e.g., lack of time, having to carry things)

Solution to the problem: 

1. Get age appropriate track suits 

It ensures that the experience of walking is enjoyable, and you can continue for long. 

2. Comfortable  walking shoes are must for walking .

It ensures that the your legs , especially knee joints stay in good shape.

 3. Get an treadmill for home use.

 

It ensure that you can walk  whenever you have time, in the privacy of your home without others watching.

Things to look for in the treadmill

  • Heavy motor , more than 2.0 w
  • Pre-waxed and cushioned walking surface with large area
  • Preferably fold-able
  • Maximum user weight limit more than 120 kg
  • Program able for users needs.

2. Track your daily progress

The Effect of Activity Tracker Usage on Physical Activity

Recent research has established that physical inactivity, is known to cause 6% of deaths globally. Too little physical activity also result  in debilitating conditions such  , cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus type II, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and some forms of cancer beside Obesity.

It is not surprising to know that the American Heart Association endorses 10,000 steps a day or 30 min of moderate-intensity physical activity (eg, brisk walking) for at least 5 days a week as guidelines to improve health and reduce health risk .

Scientist believe that people do not indulge in physical activity because they lack the conscious awareness that they are not doing enough of physical activity. People tend to overestimate the physical activity they are doing .

Now days  numerous interactive and mobile tracking devices are available  which can  directly monitor our physical activity through a range of sensors. These devices are known to induce behavior change by providing the timely feedback to users on their own behavior and the possibility to self-monitor behavior and its outcomes.

That seems to a reason why 69% of adults in the United States are using at least one tracking device. Out of those who did use these devices, roughly half indicated that tracking changed their overall approach to maintaining their health .

Must know facts before selecting a fitness /health trackers

Real issue with fitness /health trackers  are not they are expensive to acquire, but it is to continue using for long. People buy them  when they start and then stop using them when they lose enthusiasm. These are few important points to ensure that not only you purchase these trackers  but also put these to continuous use.

User experience  and ease of use  

 One should opt for the models which are simple to use and are reported to have better reviews for user experiences. Poor User experience  and difficult to use devices are important reasons why people stop using these devices in spite of paying a significant cost to acquire them. Studies have also shown that people often stop using the device if they perceive  that device is too cumbersome to use or changing the batteries is too difficult or expensive. 

Battery life and charging

The newer devices have inbuilt battery which can be charged once a fortnight, just like a smart phone . These devices are reported to have better user experience than one that have a battery which is to be changed, as later may be difficult for some users.

 

Device aesthetics

It is important to select a device which suits your taste and have excellent aesthetics. It is an important determinant how long are you going to use it. Research have shown that the   device aesthetics,  form and    perceived fit between device and self-image is important factor responsible for continuous use by the user.

Accuracy

Make sure that the device has accurate in measuring the health parameters and is validated by an appropriate authority. Fitbit and Garmin are brands which have large user base and appropriate size of  user data , on which validating scientific studies have been reported. The perceived inaccuracy of the device is another reason why people quit using the device.

3. Moniter  your weight , body fat and BMI

 Progress in your weight loss plan 

Loss of motivation is probably the biggest reason why people lose interest in exercising  or sticking to the diet plan that they have decided. Reason is the failure to get the pleasure of small successes achieved during the weight loss program. Always keep a physical record of the changes in the your weight. With the availability of the Smart Scales keeping tract of your weight has become convenient. Not only these provide additional information like BMI , muscle mass and fat etc, It converts your health related data into trend graphs that help you see your short and long-term changes. The motivation of seeing small incremental changes help you see that you are actually getting results. There is clear scientific evidence that that behaviour change programs can be effective in changing lifestyle risk factors.

Body Fat Distribution

Body fat distribution is a strong metabolic and cardiovascular risk factor. 

Accumulation of fat in the upper body (abdominal region) is associated with the development of obesity-related comorbidities and even all-cause mortality. In contrast, recent population studies have shown that accumulation of fat in the lower body ( gluteo-femoral region) is associated with a protective lipid and glucose profile as well as a decrease in cardiovascular and metabolic disease prevalence after adjustment for total body fat mass. 

Body Composition Monitor:

 These machines provide correct estimate of weight, total body fat, total muscle mass, basal metabolic rate (BMI). it also allows the user to assess subcutaneous fat ( underneath skin) and visceral fat (tummy).

Graphical representation of the data help in understanding it better and the record provides a continuous oversight over the weight changes. It also allows the user to decide which type of weight loss regimen the user should adapt for best results

Closing: 

Brisk walking is the best way for  weight reduction . Efforts  should be done to arrange the comfortable shoes and treadmill. Fitness tracking devices  are known to induce behavior change by providing the timely feedback to user on their own behavior . These help in continuing walking for long.

Scientific studies report that most individuals (81%) say that they “learned something new” regarding their health, the last time they went online. The majority (80%) of people found the information through a search engine as reliable.

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