Can you be overweight and still be healthy?
It is important to remember that the number on the scale is not the only key to your wellness. Regular physical activity is an essential component in maintaining a healthy weight for you.
You can look good in a swimsuit and still be a heart attack waiting to happen. You can also be overweight and still be relatively healthy. Ask yourself if you are physically fit. Do you exercise on a regular basis? Can you go for a hilly hike and still have fun? Are you keeping your weight stable? If you answered yes to these questions, there is a chance that you do not have obesity-related risk factors or illnesses. These risk factors include: high blood pressure, sleep apnea, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and abnormal cholesterol. Absent these conditions, one out of four overweight people are healthy. On the other hand, a startling number of trim people suffer from these same diseases typically associated with obesity.
There is a growing debate about the accuracy of the standard method of calculating whether someone is overweight. Health officials rely on the body mass index, a weight-height ratio that does not distinguish between fat and lean tissue. If the extra pounds are muscle, your risk of disease is lower than if the extra weight is fat. A number of experts say waist size is a more accurate way of determining someone's health risks. A thicker waist commonly referred to as the ‘apple-shaped body' is linked to cardiovascular risk factors. Among overweight adults, those in the “healthy” category tend to have smaller waists, and a more even fat distribution referred to as a ‘pear-shaped body.'
Your weight is important to your health. As you age, fat often replaces muscle, which is just as harmful as gaining weight. This puts you at increased risk of developing obesity-related illnesses later in life, even if you do not presently have risk factors for these diseases.
True health is reflected on the inside of your body, not just on your outward appearance. It always comes back to eating right and exercising regularly. These important lifestyle habits only help to improve your overall health!