How Much Weight Did You Gain Over the Past Holidays?

On average most people who over indulge over the holidays weight gain can amount to around 2-3 pounds. Here in the U.S. this is from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. It doesn’t sound like a lot. Perhaps others gain more. But if you don’t lose it by spring it can hang around and add more through the next holiday season.


To fight seasonal weight gain, aim to maintain your activity level. Activity needs to be consistent at the same time while you are indulging in seasonal treats!


Early Exercise Fends Off Disease


If you are not already exercising regularly, you could be putting your at risk 30 years from now. Of course, this depends upon what chronological age you are currently at. If you are already considered to be “older” improvements can be made no matter what chronological age you are at. Biological and physiological improvements can be made whenever you start. All is not lost.


Many of the diseases that exercise protects against actually start in young adulthood and take decades to become severe enough to cause symptoms.


Many studies have shown that people who exercise regularly have lower rates of heart disease, strokes, diabetes and several types of cancer. It is true that those studies have usually been done in adults over the age of 50. However, a new study of young adults, comes to the same conclusion.


A study that was performed at John Hopkins was published in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine, showed that nearly 5,000 young adults, ages 18-30, were included. Then they were followed for nearly 27 years. The study participants came from different geographic areas in the United States. There were both males and females and people of different racial and ethnic groups.


The study did not measure how much the study participants exercised. Instead, it measured the physical fitness of these young adults, a reflection of how much they exercised. Fitness was assessed by how many minutes study participants could exercise on a treadmill test before becoming too tired to continue. The test was first performed when a person enrolled in the study. It was repeated in most of the study participants seven years later.


The people who were the most fit when the study began had a lower risk of developing heart disease and of dying prematurely. For each extra minute that people were fit enough to exercise on the treadmill, their risk of developing heart disease was lowered by 12 percent, and their risk of death was lowered by 15 percent.


The people who stayed fit when retested seven years later also had lower risks of heart disease and death than those who did not. Those who were least-fit young adults were most likely to develop thickened heart muscle that was straining to do its job.


It is hoped that the study will continue to follow its participants for another 15-20 years. If so, we could learn for sure whether those who stayed fit all of their adult lives did better than those who started regular exercise in their 50’s or later. I don’t agree with this, and the next story will show why this thinking is questionable.