The has been a recent flurry of excitement and shock around the obesity figures in Ireland, and in particular our potential destiny of being a chronically overweight, obese, and unhealthy society. The recent article in The Journal reported on a recent study by the World Health organization and has quoted “some 89 percent of Irish men will be overweight by 2030″ , and “of Irish women, 85 percent are likely to be overweight and 57 percent obese by 2030”. This figures are absolutely shocking to the health conscious, and also those of us who have not really paid much attention to our health and fitness in the past.
In response, IMO President Dr Ray Walley has called for an action plan at Government level, stating “Government must act and act fast. We need a comprehensive plan across all Government including taxation on high fat and high sugar foods.”
Of course, a Government response is important, and wholesale change is most certainly required for us to have any chance of prospering as a healthy nation. Things like school dinners and lunches, educational programs for children and parents, availability and accessibility to whole food, and a widespread health promotion program are all called for. However, there is another side to this. Studies are studies, and its good to have some figures to hand, but if we are to wait for a Government response to this ‘crisis‘ it could be too late! In the day and age of ‘economic recovery’, water charges, and the fickle nature of our political system, it seems to me the our Government is preoccupied with keeping their heads above water and dealing with the short term issues, to the neglect of the longer term issues. Its unlikely that the promise of a healthy nation in 20 years time will win a lot of votes, when people are crying out for immediate reform in the health service, education, and employment. They are only my personal musings, but I want you to look at the other side of the coin. WHY are these figures coming out. Yes, you can blame the shopping centres, TV advertisements, computers, and whatever else you want, but there is more to this. How much of the responsibility lies with yourself?
The common mis-conception these days is that to be healthy, you need two things. A strict exercise regimen, and a restrictive diet. In my experience helping people regain control of their health, this approach is a mistake. There are 4 areas that you need to address, and that you can start addressing today, to turn your own health around, and have a major positive effect on the health of those around you. The 4 areas are:
Start to build a wholefood diet, high on unprocessed foods, and build it into yoru daily routine. In terms of exercise, you don’t need to kill yourself in the gym. Get expert advice on how you can build a movement program that will help you regain mobility, give mental and physical challenges, and give you the freedom to do the things you want in your life. Give yourself some head space. Fretting over the scales is akin to staring at your finger while you point at the moon. This comes from the mind-set of smashing your body in the gym to make up for lost time, and doing everything in a state of panic. Practice deep breathing and meditate from time to time. Lastly for today, start to surround yoruself with positive influences. Other people, books, clubs, and social events that help you build the lifestyle you want, and will be a big step in the right direction to long term health.
This is a very brief look at some of the things you can do to personally start your journey to health. I will post more in the coming weeks. In the meantime, if you are ready to take your health seriously, and make real strides to long term health, contact us at ACLAÍ today, and you and I can arrange a free 20 minute consultation to make a roadmap to your success. Beir Bua, Ainle