We will rise and we will overcome

Admittedly it had been over two weeks since I’d engaged in any form of conditioning work. Although presently lower on the list of bio-markers to improve, the twice weekly sprint sessions allotted, for one reason or another did not eventuate and although only a small piece of the whole that makes up my physical preparations, missing sessions of any kind is certainly not a habit I can bear to cement. A certain vague discontent had begun to breach my psyche of late and rightly I was convinced it was the absence of that severe after-elation felt beyond an extremely demanding bout of ‘all out repeats’ that granted small melancholies access.
Vigorous activity, at least for me it seems serves a kind of sentinel of the Psyche.

It’s the indictment of ones nature.
To stand fixed at the rallying point and volleys of ire at insult return.
To rage against the slander – To speed untethered across the terrain. The reckless dashing between points. To unleash ones full potency. Every atom, fibre, rod and hinge exploding with exquisite mechanical precision. Lungs gasping for every replenishment. The welcoming grass beneath my unshod feet. The morning sun stealing shyly out from repression to enquire the arena and a whole new day to revel in small glory.
To be enough.
To have invited the strain, bade the struggle with mockeries and outlasted. To be every bit present, and unchecked.

”Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.”
…Plato

Why anyone for such a small helping of harrowing, would choose not to examine the wildest dimensions of their physical faculties is completely incomprehensible.

The cascade of positive adaptions in both mind and body stemming from eating well and exercising regularly have been well documented. The general public now more than ever are made aware, of not only the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle, but the balance outstanding for remaining sedentary also. Yet withal, obesity is still on the rise now becoming the single biggest health threat currently facing the entire western world.

These staggering facts and figures on Obesity in Australia come directly from the Monash University Obesity and Diabetes Institute.

Note: Overweight and obesity are defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) using the Body Mass Index (BMI). This is calculated as the individuals bodyweight in kilograms divided by his or her height in metres squared. Persons with a BMI of between 25-29.9 are classified as overweight whilst individuals with a BMI of 30 or greater are classified as obese. Calculations for children and adolescents require the addition of specific BMI percentile growth charts to allow comparisons with those of the same sex and age. Adult BMI charts are not suitable for use with children and adolescents.

  • The rampancy of obesity in Australia has more than doubled in the last 20 years, overtaking smoking as the leading cause of premature death and illness and becoming the greatest peril to public health in this country.
  • Just a quarter of Australians are at a healthy weight, with more than 17 million Australians classified as overweight or obese. These numbers are quickly escalating.
  • 42.1 % of Australian adult males are classified as overweight and 25.6 % are obese.
  • 30.9 % of Australian adult females are overweight and 24 % are classified as obese.
  • One quarter of Australian children aged between 5-17 years are overweight or obese.
  • If current trends continue, by the year 2020, 80 % of all Australian adults and a third of all children will be overweight or obese.
  • Of notable concern is the health threat to Australia’s indigenous population who are 1.9 times as likely as non-indigenous Australians to be obese and have the fourth highest rate of Type-2 Diabetes in the world.

ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS

In 2008, the total costs associated with obesity and overweight in Australia were estimated at over $56 billion per year, with projections of obstinate growth. According to a study published in the Medical Journal of Australia, direct health care and other connected costs totalled $21 billion with government subsidies costing an additional $35.6 billion every year.

HEALTH RAMIFICATIONS


Some of the many chronic conditions and diseases implicated in being overweight or obese include;

  • Insulin resistance
  • Hypertension
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Stroke
  • Some cancers including breast,endometrial and colon cancer
  • Type 2 Diabetes (non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus)
  • Gall bladder disease
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • Musculoskeletal problems including but not limited to Osteoarthritis and low-back pain
  • Gout
  • Cataracts
  • Stress Incontinence
  • Sleep Apnoea

SUFFER THE CHILDREN

With respect to children and adolescents the most significant long-term ramification of childhood obesity is its perseverance into adulthood. Once a child is overweight or obese, reversing the condition and contributing behaviours becomes increasingly unlikely, exposing the child to many of the above mentioned health complications. Late-Onset or Adult-Onset Diabetes is now called Type-2 Diabetes due to its rising prevalence amongst children. Being overweight or obese as a child or adolescent also increases the risk of many diseases and disorders in adulthood, regardless of whether or not the adult is overweight. An additional concern is that afflicted youths, particularly females, often exhibit decreased self-esteem which can lead to unhealthy exercise and dietary habits for weight control, and can also impact other aspects of life such as the development of friendships and competency at school which could further pave the road for damaging repercussions enduring long into adulthood. It is also projected that by the time they reach the age of 20, Australian children will have a life expectancy much shorter than previous generations owing directly to obesity.

It is imperative that we identify and begin to reverse the condition before children become adults, ideally preventing them from becoming overweight or obese in the first place.

”The obesity crisis is not on its way – it is already here. What we have done about obesity is not working. This issue needs concentrated and determined action.”

Professor Mike Daube
President – Public Health Association of Australia
Deputy Chairman – National Preventative Health Taskforce

There are many factors that cause or contribute to a person being overweight or obese including genetic issues, birth factors, convenience governed modern living, socio-economic and psycho-social factors however the more significantly addressed triggers are poor nutrition and insufficient exercise.

Timothy Gill, from the Boden Institute at Sydney University, said people in their 30s and 40s did not understand they faced health problems caused by obesity that in the past were more commonly seen in people in their 60s and 70s. Many unnecessary diseases and premature deaths associated with being overweight or obese are preventable with behavioural changes including proper nutrition and regular exercise.

It is now not a matter of whether or not we have the time, or if we even want to.
It is our responsibility to act.

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