It’s been a crappy week so far, in that I’ve been over-eating like crazy. Since Monday, if you check my Points page, I’ve not met my daily points target once. The worst was yesterday – I had a cheese sandwich, for no real reason, a treacle pudding (which is meant to serve at least two) from a tin, with a million calories, and three hot dogs. Far too much. And having eaten into my flex points so much, this weekend will be very austere indeed if I want another successful week. And I do.
You see, it was very sobering when my counselor said that, unless I make some changes to my life, I may not see ten more years on this earth. I’d like to live past fifty-three, so that C is not a widower at fifty-two. And so that I, you know, live to see this retirement I’m encouraged to look forward to. And so that, you know, I don’t die. There are plenty of statistics about mortality and how being obese contributes to it – fat shortens your life (especially, interestingly, fat carried around the waist; it is not metabolically inert as everyone thought but contributes to systemic inflammation which reduces the body’s ability to fight the damage caused by oxidating free radicals).
I did a little research of my own and found a study mentioned on Fitness Rocks entitled “Metabolic Syndrome, Obesity, and Mortality, Impact of Cardiorespiratory Fitness” (remember I mentioned Metabolic Syndrome a few posts ago). The study was also sobering but encouraging at the same time. In short, exercise is medicine:
“CRF [cardio-respiratory fitness] is protective against premature mortality in those who are overweight and obese. Further, CRF provides a strong protective effect against both all-cause and CVD [cardio-vascular disease] mortality in healthy men and men with MetS [metabolic syndrome].”
What I get from this is that when I exercise, I save my life. Even if I don’t drop weight immediately, it’s still ‘worth it’ to try and to include exercise in my trying. Not exercising is suicide for me. Exercise is medicine and it’s cheap medicine which, when taken properly, has no unwanted side effects.
This was actually quite good to find out, since I won’t have an ideal BMI for quite some time. I may never, although it’d be even more protective. But even on the way, attaining and increasing my cardio-respiratory fitness has a demonstrated ability keep me alive a bit longer.
And it doesn’t have to be an insane two, three or four hours at the gym doing things that only major athletes like Roman Šebrle can do. From the same study:
“The amount of physical activity required to achieve the levels of CRF that were protective in this study is 30 min of moderate intensity activity on most days of the week, which are the currently recommended physical activity levels for health.”
That tells me that inspite of my knee hurting (and it does today, it feels like it’s on fire) when I make the choice to avoid the gym, I’m making the choice to not avoid the grave. It’s factual and simple. But it’s true for everyone. You’d think everyone would be moderately active for 30 minutes most days, but they aren’t. I need to keep these facts front and center, even when I don’t want to exercise, like now, when my knee is hurting from bursitis so bad. Moderate intensity can be easily judged by the ‘talk test’ – if you can talk, but not sing, you’re exercising at moderate intensity.
I’m going to do something tonight on the treadmill, even if it’s not ‘perfect.’ I’ve not gone since Monday and that’s courting the grave.
Wow, AngloAm, that’s quite a bit to think about…what else do you have for us?
Just this picture of aforementioned Roman Šebrle I found. In it he’s in his uniform and sporting a criminally cute moustache – I’ve always had a ‘thing’ for facial hair. He’s not posing – he’s a reservist in the Czech army – I think either a Captain or a Major. On his shoulder is the badge of the military sport club he trains with. I don’t read Czech but the award seems to be for being the best (nejlepší) Czech athlete. He’s certainly one of the handsomest!
(That reminds me – must hide C’s razor!)