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A sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of obesity

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • People suffering from metabolic syndrome tend to be more at risk of developing a range of health disorders, including high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
  • The simplest way to tell if you are metabolic Syndrome is by taking a waist measurement. If the measurement is equivalent to or greater than 90cm (36 inches) for men and equivalent to or greater than 80cm (32 inches) for women, you are considered metabolic Syndrome.
  • Managing your diet combined with regular exercise is the most effective way to reduce excess fat from our bodies. Moreover, resistance training alongside a healthy diet will not only help to reduce fats but also strengthen muscles, making it a suitable option for those without much free time to exercise.

 

Many of us are currently stuck at home spending long periods working on a PC, laptop, or mobile phone. As a result, we could be inadvertently putting ourselves at risk of becoming overweight. The following is a list of indicators that you may be putting on too much weight:

  • Having bills for food delivery services that are greater than when you were going to your place of work.
  • Frequently posting pictures of your food to social media accounts, with some people posting all 3 meals per day.
  • Going to your refrigerator often to find foods to snack on.
  • Becoming addicted to TV series or soap operas, regularly going to sleep late at night and not attending fitness classes because your gym is closed.
  • Getting into an unhealthy and repetitive daily cycle, for instance eating, working, eating, working, eating, working, watching a movie, playing games, then sleeping.

The truth is that choosing to eat healthy foods while sticking to a regular home-based exercise regime can ensure we do not risk becoming overweight. However, doing so requires determination and effective time management skills.

Being careful about what you eat

Cooking oils

  • Vegetable-based cooking oils usually contain Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, each of which are beneficial in their own way. Selecting the healthiest vegetable oil means choosing one with high levels of Omega 9 fatty acids, such as olive oil. Nevertheless, while extra virgin olive oil can be used to add flavour to salads, it is unsuitable for deep frying foods due to its low smoke point. If you are looking for a vegetable oil suitable for deep frying, try to find an extra light version. Other vegetable oils with high Omega 9 fatty acid content include canola oil and rice bran oil.
  • A cooking oil’s smoke point refers to the temperature that it can tolerate before burning. Once a cooking oil reaches a certain temperature it will begin to burn and produce a pungent smoke that alters the flavor of the oil and any food cooked in it. Vegetable-based cooking oils generally have a smoke point between 227-237 degrees Celsius.
  • If your household particularly enjoys deep-fried or stir-fried foods, try to find an oil with a moderate to high smoke point. Cooking oils suited to this type of cooking, and which are also regarded as being healthy due to their high Omega 3 and 9 fatty acid content, include rice bran oil, camellia oil, avocado oil, canola oil, almond oil and walnut oil. Unfortunately, these products are often quite expensive.
  • Despite coconut cooking oil containing medium-chain fatty acids and being easy to digest, it is not recommended for those with high cholesterol due to the high level of saturated fats it contains.

Focus on eating foods that strengthen immunity but do not make you fat

  • Green fruits and vegetables, such as green apples, green grapes, kiwis, cabbages, and cucumbers contain essential nutrients including chlorophyll, carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These nutrients help to increase antioxidant levels and aid immune system function.
  • Red fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries, red grapes, roselle flowers, tomatoes, red chillies, and red onions contain essential nutrients including lycopene, betacyanin, quercetin, hesperidin, and anthocyanin. These nutrients help boost antioxidant levels and reduce the accumulation of fat in our blood vessels.
  • Purple and navy-blue fruits and vegetables, including grapes, blueberries, prunes, eggplants, purple cabbages, black sticky rice, and riceberry contain essential nutrients such as anthocyanin and phenolic acids, which boost cell function and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, such as passion fruits, cantaloupes, papayas, pineapples, carrots, sweetcorn, yams, and yellow chillies contain essential nutrients including carotenoids, which are part of the vitamin A family. They also contain flavonoids and vitamin C, which play a part in reducing cell degeneration and strengthening the immune system.
  • White fruits and vegetables, such as custard apples, lychees, mangosteens, radishes and cauliflowers contain essential nutrients including beta glucan and flavonoids, which provide nourishment and strengthen white blood cells that are responsible for keeping the immune system efficient.

Prioritize foods that nourish eyesight if you are spending prolonged periods in front of a computer screen

  • Carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin are found throughout the eye, but are most prevalent in the center of the optic nerve. This means that a diet high in these nutrients can help to reduce the risk of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration by up to 40%. They also help to filter out potentially harmful blue light rays.
  • Anthocyanins, found in bilberries, are extremely useful antioxidants that help to prevent a number of eye disorders including cataracts, macular degeneration, and inflammation. They also increase our levels of rhodopsin, which are essential for adjusting eyesight to suit low-level lighting or darkness.
  • Lycopene, found in the skin of tomatoes, is a member of the carotenoid family of nutrients. It helps prevent inflammation within the eye and reduces cell degeneration.
  • Flavonoids, found in mixed berry blends containing bilberries, cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, goji berries and Chinese wolfberries, play a role in strengthening the retina and rehabilitating blood vessels supplying our eyes.
  • Beta-carotenes help us see in the dark and protect the eyes from the potentially damaging UV rays they are exposed to when we go outside.

Fighting fat accumulation

In addition to contributing to our immune system, our diet plays a crucial role in fat accumulation. For this reason, we should be extra careful when selecting the foods we eat. We can improve our eating habits by making sure we consume healthy choices, such as complex carbohydrates found in brown rice, healthy proteins found in fish, and healthy fats found in nuts and grains. We should also use healthy cooking oils, including olive oil, rice bran oil, camellia oil, and canola oil. It’s also important to get plenty of fiber from organic fruits and vegetables. However, we must also be sure not to eat too many sweets because excess sugar consumption will cause an accumulation of fat around the abdomen.

Light exercise at home

There have been 66 studies carried out by the Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders which indicate that a healthy diet combined with regular exercise is the best way to get rid of fat. Moreover, an exercise regime involving resistance training combined with an improved diet will not only reduce fat, but also increase muscle mass, which is extremely beneficial to those without much free time to exercise.

Resistance training aimed at reducing fat and strengthening the core may or may not involve equipment. We can often use our own body weight. For those who enjoy cooking, these exercises may be carried out while waiting for food to cook. Those of us prone to boredom or who regularly sit in front of a movie should also make the time to undertake the following exercises aimed at reducing fat and strengthening the core:

Exercise 1: Bicycle Crunch – 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions

Begin by lying on your back and placing your hands behind your head or next to your ears. Lift both legs up with your knees at 90⁰ angles and then lift your upper body and twist so that your left elbow touches your right knee, followed by your right elbow touching your left knee. Exhale as your elbow is coming to meet your knee and inhale as you swap over. Repeat this 12 times to complete one set.

Exercise 2: Jack Knife Crunches – 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions

Lie flat on your back with your arms extended up past your head and your legs extended but still on the floor. Raise both your arms and legs at the same time, attempting to keep your legs straight as you bring them up to meet your arms above your hips. Exhale as you tense your abdomen and inhale as you lower your arms and legs back down toward the ground.

Exercise 3: Front Plank – 3 sets of 20-30 seconds

Lie face down and use your elbows to raise your body up into the plank position, tensing your core, hips, groin and gluteal muscles. Keep your toes on the ground and hold the position for between 20-30 seconds. Slowly exhale and inhale as you hold the plank.

Exercise 4: Reverse Crunches – 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions

Lie on your back with your arms by your side. Inhale deeply and then, as you exhale, raise your legs and hips up with your knees bent at right angles. Hold your hips off the ground for 2-3 seconds before returning to the original position. Repeat 10-12 times to complete one set.

Exercise 5: Classic Crunches – 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions

Lie on your back with your knees raised, your feet flat on the floor, and your hands behind your head. Inhale deeply and, as you exhale, bring your head and shoulders up off the ground to meet your chest. Hold this position with your core muscles tensed for 2-3 seconds before returning to the original position. Be sure not to pull on the back of your head to protect your neck. Repeat 10-12 times to complete one set.


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