Friday, May 21, 2010

Statistically speaking.

I love learning. You would have had to pay me millions to admit that when I was a student, but I'll readily admit it again right here right now: I love learning! It's actually part of the reason why I wanted to become a personal trainer. To learn more about health and fitness so that I could improve my experience at the gym. Lucky for me, the world of health and fitness is a constantly growing, constantly developing industry and I'm actually required to stock up so many Continuing Education Credits to maintain my certification. Though I'll have to pay for most of those CEUs, there is an overabundance of educational material out there for me to absorb almost daily.

As a result, I've turned into a bit of a fact freak. (See "6 Months, 50%.") Most recently, I read that if you stretch your hamstrings for 30 seconds when you get out of bed, you'll increase their flexibility by 26% in just six weeks. I can't remember where I read that (probably a magazine) or how it was concluded, but the fact stuck and I'm happy to share it with you.

Another set of facts I'd like to pass on—the results of Gold's Gym and Health.com's "Fitness Census." I get a daily e-blast from Hungry Girl (you may have seen her cookbooks at Barnes) and she linked her readers to an article about it on PR Newswire. Statistically speaking, the numbers aren't so good when you look at where we are now versus the year 2000. A brief recap:

• We are o-bese! Ok, maybe not you specifically, but our nation as a whole. We fall at #3 behind American Samoa (#1) and Kiribati (#2, wherever that is).

• Obese Americans spend more money on weight-related health issues than their slimmer neighbors. Almost $8,550 more a year, to be exact.

• Two out of every three adult Americans are overweight. And our little ones, one in every three. (25% of our pets are overweight, too...my poor chunkachunk beagle included. Sad.)

• Hooray for the fast food industry, though! (NOT.) They experienced a 15% growth in sales over the past five years. Avoid the drive-thru, people!

• And speaking of food, we've increased our fat intake by almost 20 pounds a year. They say that amounts to about two sticks of butter per person, per week.

Remember my post on pop? The average American consumes about 45 gallons of it every year. When I think about what that must look like in milk cartons...anyways, moving along.

• We've reached a bright spot! I give a big hip-hip-hooray to those of you who are members of a health club. According to the "Fitness Census," 45.5 million people have joined one, and that they use it regularly. That's up 5% from 2000.

You can read more of the facts on Health.com, I found these to be particularly inspiring. Remember that every last bit counts. And it's never to late to start working out and eating healthy. No one is a lost cause, and we're all worth the extra effort. Find a trainer, call on a buddy...whatever you do, don't turn into a statistic.

Unless it's a good one.

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