David Venable had always been an athletic guy. At 6 feet tall and around 190 pounds, he was a football and baseball player in high school and college. But in 2012, he decided to take a new approach to his weight loss and hired a personal trainer.
In an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venable said that he noticed an extreme difference after the first few weeks of training:
- He was able to sleep better
- He felt more energized
- He had more focus.
- His interactions with other people improved.
And it wasn’t just his physical well-being that improved. His mental health also benefited from the training, as he is more likely to reach for food when he’s stressed or sad. So he says that he is now motivated to lose weight for the sake of his mental and emotional health.
The Dangers Of Obesity
According to the Journal-Constitution, around 17% of American adults between the ages of 18 and 64 are obese. For Venable, this represented a major personal milestone: he had always considered himself a big guy, but he says that he didn’t think he ever looked like one.
Being overweight can have serious, long-term health consequences, as the American Cancer Society points out:
- It’s one of the leading causes of type 2 diabetes
- It increases the risk for heart disease
- It puts you at risk for some types of cancer
Venable’s experience is common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 82.5% of adult men and 77.3% of adult women in the U.S. fit into the category of average weight or overweight. And while this may be an improvement from a decade ago, when the CDC says that around 93% of adults were categorized as either average weight or obese, it’s still too many.
Venable notes that he didn’t always fit into the category of average weight, as he grew up in Hawaii and attended school in California, where he says there was more emphasis on physical fitness. But even after moving to Atlanta to attend college, he still struggled with his weight. He tried every fad diet there was, from the Atkins Revolution to the South Beach Diet, and even hired a personal trainer who helped him reach his ultimate goal: becoming the sports nutritionist and fitness expert that he is today.
How Much Does Fitness Cost?
With all the health concerns that come with being overweight, it’s no surprise that people are scrambling for ways to improve their physical fitness. And while it’s great to see so many people taking up exercise as a way of life, it’s also important to look at the numbers: how much does fitness cost?
According to the American Fitness Association, around $13,000 per year will dramatically increase your chances of becoming a regular gym-goer. Just think about how much money you’ll save in membership fees in a few years, once you stop binge-eating and start taking the gym seriously!
Of course, there are cheaper ways to become fit than going to the gym. You can train in your own home with free resources such as fitbits, which track your activity and sleep habits and make it easy to follow an exercise plan. Or you can get a group of friends together and form a gym-brigade: with each person paying their own way and sharing the burden of gym membership costs, it’s a lot more affordable.
Why Is Exercise Important?
Aside from the health concerns that come with being overweight, there is another major benefit to getting fit: your mental well-being. In 2007, a Harvard University study found that participating in moderate exercise for just 20 minutes a day significantly reduced anxiety and depression in patients suffering from chronic stress. So if you’re an anxious person who gets nervous around new things or people, exercise can help to calm you down and make you feel happier.
There is also evidence that suggests that exercise can help to enhance your mental faculties. A 2015 study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that just 20 minutes of moderate exercise significantly improved the test scores of college students, resulting in an increase in their GPA. So if you’re looking to raise your grades, participating in some form of exercise can help.
What Type Of Exercise Do I Need To Do To Lose Weight?
It depends on where you are in terms of your weight loss goals. If you’re looking to drop a few pounds in the near future, you might want to consider doing some form of cardio exercise, as this will help to get your heart pumping and promote the release of adrenaline, which causes you to burn calories. Walking is a great form of cardio exercise and is low-cost and accessible to everyone. It also allows you to gradually increase your fitness level as you become more accustomed to it.
However, if you’re looking to lose a significant amount of weight, you might want to consider taking up a full-body workout regimen. These types of exercises help to strengthen your muscles and burn calories more quickly. There are many different options to choose from, so find a workout regime that suits your body-type and lifestyle.
How Do I Measure Fitness?
There is no specific measure of fitness, but there are some simple ways to determine your level of activity and how much you’re benefiting from the exercise you’re doing. For example, if you’re looking to lose weight, you could try using a fitbit to track your daily activity and sleep patterns. You’ll then be able to see how much more you’ve earned than you’ve spent, which will help motivate you to keep going.
In terms of your mental health, you could try using a stress test to measure how your body reacts to stress. Get a good night’s sleep, drink plenty of water, and then take the test, which will allow you to see the difference between pre- and post-exercise. The more you do it, the more you’ll see improvement and the more motivated you’ll become to work out regularly.
It is important to understand what your weight loss goals are before you begin your journey. It’s also important to find a routine that suits you and your lifestyle, so that you can continue to progress and stay motivated.