Winning the Mortality Race Depends on your Walking Pace
Keeping pace with individuals, matching each other’s footsteps and establishing a sync between two walking friends is pivotal for a great walking session. Comical it might seem for the outsider to see one of the spouses trailing behind the other while going out (this is not because of respect but due to lack of pace) or for a bunch of friends who always seem to miss out on their closest friend on any of the outings owing to his/her slow pace and the affected person feels neglected or at least lacks the attention of others. Slow and steady wins the race might be an age-old proverb that seems fine and you are inclined towards it but in this world, things happen in a fraction of a second and life becomes upside down even before you realize what’s happening around. Pizza deliveries, food deliveries and even grocery deliveries fight it out for the top place in least delivery time. Such is the importance of a fast-paced life these days.
The study comes at a time when individuals wish for incredible internet speed and monumental transport speed but don’t feel like moving their body or shaking their hips. According to the new study if you want to live longer start walking at a faster pace to reduce the risk of mortality and cardiovascular disease. There can be none unaware of the benefits of walking and walking for as little as less than 120 minutes too decreases mortality risk.
Studies on walking have always dealt with its benefits on our health and the quantity of time spent on this activity but never has anyone come up with an accurate walking speed that would further increase your long-term consequences. The research was a large-scale one which included researchers from two different continents. One team explored the various links between walking and likely chances of death due to cardiovascular diseases, cancer or other causes. You might be walking daily but the definition of walking differs from person to person. Some people visit the park in the name of walking to chat with their friends and take a stroll as slow as possible. Some others walk so briskly that it seems as though they are walking for their life and there are a few individuals who are unmindful of the surrounding and their only focus is to walk at a normal speed. The pace of your walk determines your mortality risk which is independent of the total physical activity performed by the individual.
The study analyzed data of more than 50,000 walkers who categorized themselves into one of the three groups ‘slow,’ ‘average,’ or ‘brisk’ depending on the pace of their walk. While a fast pace is anywhere between walking for 5-7 kilometers per hour some people also consider indications such as breathlessness as a sign of the pace. The researchers adjusted the pace to suit factors such as age, sex and BMI to predict mortality rate. Irrespective of other factors pace of the walk seemed to predict mortality risk. Brisk walkers were at a 21% decreased risk of mortality and the average walkers faced a 24% decline in mortality risk.
The study showed that the elderly population aged 60 or above reaped greater benefits-individuals walking at an average pace faced a 46% decline in cardiovascular disease-relate death risk and brisk pace individuals faced a 53% lower risk.
Now walking has a few strings attached to it. First one must initiate his/her interest in walking. Next, it’s all not only about walking but also of high concern is the walking pace. The importance that we give to the pace in which we walk comes of aid when walking more is not possible due to lack of time or in the absence of a walking-friendly zone. Increase your walking pace to decrease your cardiovascular health risk and premature mortality risk.
The results have no if’s and but’s. They are to the point and establish the fact that walking at a faster pace increases life span. Along with your walking regimen implement a well-balanced diet fulfilling all nutrient needs to lead a healthy lifestyle. Get in touch with registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com to help you plan a healthy diet.
A mismatch between calories consumed and calories expelled is the basis of weight gain. But obesity is also affected by genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors. While we don’t have a hold over genetic and environmental factors changing our lifestyle and improving our health is in our hands. Many individuals put on weight during puberty years and as young adults as they adopt the so-called modernized eating habits that includes mostly junk or processed foods. These guys also love to spend time on their favorite couch watching television or fidgeting with their smartphone. When overweight/obesity strikes these individuals, it is purely because of their lifestyle and they are to be blamed entirely. For those suffering from haphazard lifestyle changes getting in touch with reputed dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com can help you lose weight and stay active. But there are exceptional cases where the person is affected by obesity in the first few months after birth. What’s the case with these people?
All in the Gene
There are almost 118 genes associated with obesity and some of them encode leptin (LEP), leptin receptor (LEPR) and others. Leptin is a hormone that regulates satiety and energy expenditure and its level is directly dependent on the presence of fat in the cells. Leptin receptor deficiency is a condition that causes severe obesity since the first few months of life. This condition is inherited from parents, but the parents might never show symptoms of it in their lifetime as it is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern. Individuals with this condition are born with a normal birth weight but feel hungry constantly after few months of life and put on excess weight in sometime. Like the name suggests, affected people don’t have the ability to realize satiety due to deficiency of a receptor indicating fullness and they stay hungry for most part of the day. Such hunger results in hyperphagia (chronic excessive eating) and in turn, obesity. These individuals might also suffer from underdeveloped sexual organs and might be unable to bear offspring.
People with leptin receptor deficiency develop strange behavior too as their hunger triggers them to fight with other children for food, hoard food or even secretly eat them inside restrooms to satisfy their hunger. This deficiency is caused due to mutations in the LEPR gene. This gene gives out instructions for making a protein called the leptin receptor (regulating body weight). This protein is found in cells of different organs and tissues and also in the hypothalamus, part of the brain that controls hunger, thirst and sleep. The leptin hormone switches on the leptin receptor. Fat cells in the body release leptin. More the number of fat cells in the body greater is the release of leptin. As the fat stores increase, in the hypothalamus of the brain the binding of leptin to the receptor sends chemical signals that affect hunger and start producing a feeling of fullness. In leptin receptor deficiency, the gene mutation prevents the receptor from responding to leptin and hence, resulting in excess weight gain and hunger.
Lifestyle Intervention is not the Solution
In a strange condition such as leptin receptor deficiency increasing your physical activity by indulging in vigorous-intensity exercises or reducing calorie intake by following a strict diet is not going to solve the problem. Even obesity surgeries (bariatric surgeries) fail to produce the desired effect and the only option left out now is to choose a drug-based treatment approach. A few years back a group of researchers found that treating the patient with a peptide (a compound that activates the melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R)) could regulate body weight. Leptin binds to LEPR and produces the melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH). MSH binds to its receptor and sends the satiety signal to the body. But when the LEPR gene is mutated the entire process shuts off. The patient suffers from incessant hunger which raises the risk of obesity. In the study, the researchers used a peptide that binds to the MC4R in the brain which helps the patient realize satiety levels. The researchers also observed significant weight loss in these patients. But why the peptide causes such an improvement in satiety signaling is yet to be discovered. We can hope for a drug that helps people with LEPR gene mutation to avoid obesity by using it and by also exercising and eating healthy food.
Remember the days when we used to form a group and wait in front of the principal’s office to be reprimanded? Rather than feeling ashamed for our mistake we have never minded getting a lecture for the sole reason that we were together as a group! Its always easier or simpler to fight for justice, do some mistake, experience something new or gain attention when we do it together rather than individually. Weight loss also falls in this category. If you’ve been on a weight loss mission along with your better half its high time that you rethink over it. Now don’t be annoyed that I’m letting you into two different school of thoughts simultaneously. As you read through below things become clearer.
Two Souls with One Goal
There is a possibility for two different outcomes when couples try to lose weight together: either it could take you to another level where both of you end up losing the desired weight or push you into gutters as your relationship becomes jeopardized. Weight loss is the most-commonly desired New Year resolution but a difficult one to accomplish unless the individual involved is dedicated and passionate about it. A study published in the journal Health Communication has left readers impressed with the fact that couples who exercise together lose weight together.
Weight loss involves creating healthy eating habits, working out together and improving relationships by caring for each other’s exercise routine, supporting each other through the journey, enjoying the company and being outspoken about difference of opinions, if any. The study was conducted on 389 individuals who were living with their partners and focuses on the individual’s partners’ approaches to weight loss. Finally, the researchers identified four different ‘relational environments’ after analyzing the response of the participants. This included ‘synchronized’ where both partners were together as a team and carried a positive attitude towards weight loss, ‘lone battlers’ where both the partners executed least team efforts and were facing greatest relationship strains (this group mostly never discusses about weight loss), ‘contentious cooperatives’ were those who were in between ‘synchronized’ and ‘lone battlers’ and these couples face conflicts sometimes and finally the ‘autonomous’ individuals who receive irregular encouragement from their partners without any other interference from them.
Most common weight loss strategies practiced by these couples included:
Competition is a great motivator, but it should be focused and not leave the relationship strained. There are other studies that show that when one of the partners try to lose weight the other too ends up losing a few kilograms though he/she might not be actively involved in the process. But couples who wish to lose weight together must be cautious in their attempt. It is advisable to align your approach with the relational environment otherwise there is a lingering danger of unrest. Couples who workout the best relational environment and support techniques from their partners made effective progress comparatively. Such an effort helps the couple improve their relationship as well their weight loss efforts.
Quick Tips for the Couples
For some individuals doctors are demigods who have brought them back to life. For every little cold or bruise certain people have the natural tendency to visit a doctor and get their illness sorted. Others try home remedies and put off meeting the physician as much as possible as they dislike taking medicines and getting poked! Among different people most men fall into the general category of people who dislike going to a doctor. Maybe they feel its not ‘manly!’
Paying a visit to your doctor every year for a health checkup is mandatory irrespective of your fitness levels. This protects you from health problems and keeps your mind stress-free. But many men are adamant against visiting a doctor for checkups and the reasons they give can surprise some while others stay shocked. Quoted here are top ten reasons from our beloved male counterparts:
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.