In the spirit of Halloween, we’ve come up with some of the scariest and terrifying stats relating to our health and fitness as a country. Nothing will chill your blood like these American health facts. This article might read like a Steven King novel, but the good news is that all of these spine tingling, hair raising facts are 100% preventable (and largely reversible) through diet and exercise.
You’ve heard the stats, and now you can see it evidenced everywhere - at work, at the mall, wherever large numbers of people gather. 2 in 3 Americans are now overweight or obese. 2 in 3 of us are headed down a road that leads to severe health complications and in many cases, premature death.
Only 1in 3 of us are getting the bare minimum amount of recommended physical activity per week. People are moving less, but eating more. How much more are we eating? Since 1970, we are, on average, eating an extra 600-700 calories per day, everyday, 24/7, 365. Couple this with the deficit in movement and physical activity and you have a societal health crisis on a massive scale.
Moderate exercise has been shown to add up to 7+ years of life vs. those who do not move enough. This is at minimum, is almost an extra decade of life that people are choosing not to live.
To maintain basic health, adults require at least 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity such as brisk walking, or 1.25 hours of more intensive exercise like jogging - per week. These are the absolute minimum standards to maintain basic health and mobility. To maintain your physical strength, it is recommended that adults get 2 or more sessions of full body strength training per week - again just to maintain the most basic levels of health.
Basic standards are not going to get you into shape, and certainly won’t do much to change the way you look. While any movement is better than nothing, as a society we shouldn't just aim for the bottom rung of the ladder and hope that we make it. It’s also extremely hard to maintain motivation to lose weight when your efforts don’t create physical and emotional changes that you can see and experience.
Currently, 80% of American adults fail to meet even these basic standards of movement. Even more alarming is that 80% of our kids and teens are failing to meet the basic standards for children and adolescents. If we are failing ourselves, how can we not fail our children?
Meet us in the living room.
Training at home is one of the best ways to set an example for your family. Normalizing a daily workout routine at home sets a positive example, and it also reinforces the importance of living a healthy, happy, active life. Let the people that you care about see you sweat and struggle. Let them see mom (or dad) take the time to exercise and eat well. Let your family learn this powerful example of self-care and love. Trauma in families is often passed down intergenerationally, until someone steps up to break the pattern. Let your kids see you exercise. Watch them get excited and mimic your movements. Make fitness something that is approachable and achievable in their eyes. Break down the barriers of intimidation and fear by showing them that mommy is strong and not afraid. Don’t assume that your kids are getting what they need from school or a teacher. Gifting your kids with your fitness is one of the most important and loving things that we can do as parents.
A place to start.
If you are looking for a place to start, we have a wide range of workout series for beginners on BodyRockPlus.com Each of our beginner classes and bootcamps are designed to get you up and moving again. They take all of the guesswork out - all you need to do is show up and press play and give it your all. Most of our workouts are designed for weight loss and conditioning, to make you feel and look your best. We also teach you the movements, so that you are building a solid fitness foundation.
With our 7 day free trial, and monthly membership at just $20 (cancel at anytime), you can bring the power of personal trainers to your living room. Don’t settle for less than what you are capable of. Let us help you get in the best shape of your life and set a powerful example for those that you love.
In 1972, Americans spent a staggering $3 billion dollars on fast food. Today, we line up for fast food to the tune of $110 billion dollars per year.
An astounding 1 in 3 Americans get close to half of their daily calories from fast food outlets. 1 in 4 of us eat fast food daily. Our addiction to cheap, heavily processed foods is making us fat and sick.
The average American now downs 44 gallons of Soda per year. That’s almost enough to fill up a Ford F-150 pickup truck's gas tank twice. Put another way, that's 84 large bottles (2L) of Coke, and the equivalent of a mind numbing 37 pounds of sugar per year. Remember, we are just talking about soda here, just one item on the menu. American teens drink more than 2x more soda than they do milk.
People are getting fatter, younger.
Since 1980, the obesity rates of our children and teens has tripled. Almost 20% of our children are now obese. Obesity impacts kids from lower income families the most, with obesity impacting 1 in 7 kids.
Obesity is a key contributor in the epic rise in diabetes. Over 100 million Americans suffer from diabetes or pre-diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, and (non-traumatic) lower limb amputations. Obesity is also the leading cause of heart disease, stroke and the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S.
95 million American adults have high cholesterol, putting them at a much higher risk for heart disease - the leading cause of death in America.
The Silent Killer.
1 in 3 adults now have high blood pressure, and most of them don’t even know it, and are not being treated.
The big C.
Study after study has shown that being overweight dramatically increases a person's risk of getting certain cancers, including uterine, breast, prostate and colon cancers.
You might be asking yourself why, as a society, our government hasn’t taken a much more aggressive position on obesity related issues. These problems are almost entirely preventable, and a more proactive strategy would certainly take a lot of pressure off our hospitals and health care resources. Until obesity is given the same attention as other health challenges, it will come down to the choices we make as individuals, and the decisions that we make as families. We know that this article wasn’t a pleasure read, but motivation to change sometimes can be found in dark places. Be scared, if that helps you find the courage to start your own journey towards health and fitness, but remember that it's never too late to meet us in the living room.
If you are looking to invest in some home fitness gear, we currently have a storewide 30% off Halloween sale running. Use code: SPOOKY30 to get an automatic 30% off at checkout.