Thursday, 16 January 2014

Solving the Obesity Issue

There was an interesting article on the BBC on Tuesday which gave viewpoints from various organisations on how to cure obesity. It suggested that education and information, reducing poverty, banning junk food advertising, swapping unhealthy food for healthier options and increasing access to keep fit programmes are all viable ways to stem the 'disease'.

However the problem is, that there is no one way to 'cure' obesity. It's not like there is a magic pill that will automatically make everyone a healthy weight.
In my opinion, because much of the population does not see being overweight as a problem, until they do, no manner of initiatives or access to exercise will help. There is only so much you can put information in front of people before they will simply become blind to it because if they are not interested, they will not read it, let alone learn from it. As it stands, I've been unable (so far) to find evidence that the graphic images on cigarette packets have actually gone beyond people saying they 'intend to quit to actually quitting, so why would this be any different?

Like smoking, people know being overweight is bad for them but will keep doing it anyway. I appreciate that I am generalising, but many people eat too much and/or or unhealthily because they enjoy it or simply because it is convenient.
Now I'm not saying that all the suggested 'cures' won't help, but surely there has to be the desire to want to change the status quo first? You could provide all the free fitness classes in the world, but if people don't want to go, they won't - like the proverbial horse. Managing weight and fitness is a lifestyle change that requires a level of commitment that many people simply do not want to give, and that is really the problem that needs solving; how to change a collective mindset.

Today was a cycling day, but to mix it up a bit I decided to try including a couple of HIIT-inspired sprint blocks (high-intensity interval training) to notch up the workout a bit. I've been doing some research into HIIT for a future post and thought I'd give it a try. For two 4-minute blocks, I alternated 120 rpm, 20 second sprints with 10 second 80 rpm recovery periods. I can safely say I sweated LOADS more than I usually do on the bikes and my legs felt like they were burning! My heart rate was up much higher as well, although I do want to look into getting an HRM later this year to get a more accurate reading. :)

Today's Workout:
Rowing (moderate, 30 spm) = 5 minutes
Cycling (Level 5-9, 85-90 rpm) = 30 minutes including 2 x 4-minute HIIT-type (120 rpm) blocks
Walking (brisk, 3.8 mph) = 10 minutes

Shoes: Vivobarefoot Breatho
(Still awaiting replacement Minimus ones)

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