Fat and fit OR thin and sedentary?
Disclaimer: ‘Fat’ is just used as a descriptive term and not meant to offend anyone who is reading this.
You probably would not even think of putting fat and fit in the same sentence. How can someone be fat and fit?
Well, according to a study in 2003, it is possible to be fat and fit. This is known as the Obesity Paradox. Let’s find out if it’s possible or a myth.
While there are many ‘fat’ people who are active in everyday life and seem perfectly healthy, new research suggests that obesity is still linked to cardiovascular and lifestyle diseases.
However, this research only took White Europeans into account and not other ethnicities.
There is no way that this is conclusive and proof that all fat people have health risks.
While the controversy brews around being fat and fit, there is no doubt that being thin and sedentary can lead to a whole host of problems.
For one a lot of thin people are skinny fat. What this means is that although they have skinny arms and legs, their midsection holds a lot of weight. Visceral fat, the kind of fat that is in belly fat, is dangerous.
There also may be fat surrounding the vital organs like the heart, liver or the pancreas and that leaves ‘thin’ people vulnerable to several lifestyle diseases. Just because you do not have bulges, does not automatically mean that you are fit.
Leading a sedentary lifestyle also has several downsides:
1. Your mood takes a nose dive
Physical activity releases endorphins, also known as the ‘happy hormones’. Sitting for long periods of time can lead to depression. It can also increase your risk for anxiety according to a study published in BMC Health.
Quick Tip: Do a lap of the office every hour. Do some simple stretching at your desk to keep moving.
2. Greater risk for cancer
According to a German meta-analysis, a sedentary behavior can increase your risk for cancer. People who reported the most sitting time saw a 24 percent higher risk of developing colon cancer, a 32 percent higher risk of endometrial cancer, and a 21 percent higher risk of lung cancer.
Also, if you spend a lot of time in front of the TV, you are very likely stuffing your face with sweet treats and fast food doubling your risk.
Quick Tip: Set alarms to remind you to get out of your chair and move. Do a quick workout every time a commercial comes on.
3. Your memory suffers
As per the Journal of Alzheimer’s disease, you start to forget things given the lack of exercise. If you are older, you are more likely to develop dementia.
4. Spikes in blood sugar
If you’re sitting for way too long then your blood sugar spikes leaving you vulnerable to diabetes. People who sit for long periods of time were found to have blood sugar levels at 5.7 percent or above in an A1C test, which is high enough to be considered prediabetes by the American Diabetes Association, the researchers note.
5. You lose sleep
Quality sleep is hard to come by when you lead a sedentary lifestyle. 50 percent of people who don’t exercise reported waking up in the middle of the night. On the other hand, active people have no problem dozing off.
Have trouble with your back? You are not doing yourself any favours by sitting down for extended periods of time. Your back is just going to get worse because of incorrect posture and non-ergonomic chairs that are comfortable but not good for your back.
Find the happy middle. You do not have to look like a runway model but start today by treating your body right.