So if you are overweight but you are also fit, do you erase the added risk of heart disease that carrying extra weight is said to add to your life?
No, according to a study from Imperial College London’s School of Public Health and published in the August 14 issue of the European Heart Journal.
In this study that covered participants from several different European countries for more than 12 years follow-up, researchers compared 10,000 people who didn’t have heart problems with slightly more than 7600 people who had known cardiovascular disease, and the researchers concluded that excess weight is a problem for your heart no matter how fit you think you are.
In other words, no matter how many or how few risk factors these study participants had for heart disease – they had high blood pressure, for example, or abnormal cholesterol levels, or diabetes, and so on – those people who were overweight had a higher chance of suffering a heart attack or dying suddenly from a heart problem than people with similar cardiac risks but who were also thin or at normal weight.
Bottom line: although some studies have claimed to show that if you are fat you are still OK in terms of your heart – so long as you also maintain a good level of cardiovascular fitness – this study found that is likely not true.
It can be discouraging setting your fitness New Year’s Resolutions and not being able to keep them by the time spring arrives. You feel motivated to start but somewhere along the way you lose energy, can’t keep up with your exercise routine and don’t have anyone to hold you accountable.
Here’s 4 ways to stay on a track with your fitness resolutions:
At the start, you’re motivated to make your health a priority but tend to overexert yourself. You’re willing to implement a new meal plan and exercise 4 times a week. Eating well and exercising multiple times a week are both realistic lifestyle changes, however, when you begin, it’s important to stay realistic.
Tip: Look at your current schedule and plan 1-2 fitness activities for the week. Once you feel comfortable and consistent with those days, add another class. This will allow you to ease into a new routine and make sustainable positive changes.
Doing an exercise routine that feels like a chore, limits your ability to achieve your goal. Exercise comes in many forms and can even include activities such as gardening, playing with your kids or going for a walk.
Tip: Brainstorm a list of activities that get you moving and you enjoy, or think you might enjoy, and schedule them in your calendar.
Not only should you set realistic goals and enjoy what you do, you should find the right support group or partner that will hold you accountable throughout the year. Kevin O’Connor, a competitive road runner and coach, relies on his support team to get through the rainy cooler months in Vancouver, BC. “Training through the colder months, I think it’s very important to find a group. If you can’t find a group then try and find a training partner so you know that when it’s cold, wet and miserable, someone’s going to be there and you’re accountable.”
Tip: Sign up for a weekly fitness group or pair up with a friend. Exercising with a group or friend will be more enjoyable and you can keep track of each other’s progress.
Increasing your physical activity may leave you feeling too sore to continue and increase your chances of giving up on your goals all together. Your recovery process is an important part of your fitness routine and should not be avoided. Stretching, hydrating, eating a balanced diet and supplementing with the right joint health product, allows you to regain your energy and support your joint health and mobility.
“As a running athlete, I find SierraSil Joint Formula14 and Pain Relief Topical Spray enables my recovery from the same hard workouts that I ran 17 years ago when I was at my peak. Taking SierraSil products has assisted greatly in my training with confidence after hard workouts and now I’m running almost as well as I was in 1994 and 1996.” – Kevin O’Connor
SierraSil, a clay-mineral that aids in easing joint and muscle aches, reduces delayed onset muscle soreness and calms inflammation. SierraSil has allowed many to get back to their regular physical activities without experiencing chronic pain and stiffness.
Tip: Pick up a bottle of Joint Formula14 at your nearest London Drugs to help you ease into your fitness routine.
For more advice on joint health products such as SierraSil, speak to a London Drugs pharmacist today.
For those who are resolving to make their health a priority in 2016, there are a wide variety of new trends plus a host of tried-and-true healthy behaviors that can help keep motivation high and goals on track.
London Drugs Pharmacist, Jason Chan-Remillard, points out some of the top wellness trends for 2016 and offers some tips for adopting healthy behaviors in the New Year.
Wearable tech is everywhere right now and will gain even more traction in 2016 with new features and functionality. Everything from fitness trackers to smart watches and even heart rate monitors are being used to analyze physical wellness.
“These devices are changing the way we plan and manage our workouts, monitor our health and can help motivate us to achieve our wellness goals,” says Chan-Remillard.
London Drugs sees wearable tech as such a critical component of health that they specifically trained their Patient Care Pharmacists on wearable tech options and began hosting Health Tech demo days for customers in their stores. Pharmacists also lead by example in this area, wearing the Fitbit HR during London Drugs’ Nutrition & Healthy Weight Clinics.
“Understanding wearable technology helps us promote wellness. It is now an integrated component of monitoring health and it is a technology we know helps many of our patients,” says Chan-Remillard.
Fitbit earned the spot as the top app in the App Store over Christmas. The newest Fitbit, Fitbit Surge, can not only count steps, but also tracks pace, distance, elevation climbed, heart rate, calories burned and is even able to sync to the Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Scale.
Other wearable tech products like iHealth track blood pressure.
“This is an important advancement because things like high blood pressure aren’t easily-detected, but if left untreated, over time can increase your risk of stroke and heart attack,” says Chan-Remillard.
New technologies are making getting fit and monitoring your health a whole lot easier. Remember that great health is not just the absence of disease. It’s the ability to enjoy all that life has to offer, with maximum energy and in control of any health condition that might be present. Today’s health technologies make that goal a whole lot easier to achieve.
Now, checking your blood pressure can be the cool thing to do! With no plugs or connections to manage, iHealth® Wireless Blood Pressure Monitors make it easy to check your own blood pressure, any time and anywhere. The iHealth® Wireless Blood Pressure Wrist Monitor attaches with a smaller cuff at the wrist, for easy on and off. The attractive device uses motion sensor technology to ensure the most accurate read possible. The iHealth® Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor is a comfortable, easy-to-use cuff for those who prefer a more traditional way of checking their blood pressure. Using the free iHealth® mobile app, you can measure and track your systolic/ diastolic numbers, heart rate, pulse wave and measurement time, then share your results instantly. Why it’s important Knowing your blood pressure—especially if you have hypertension—helps put you in the driver’s seat. A sudden spike in blood pressure can signal a number of health conditions and should be reported to your doctor as soon as possible. The iHealth® MyVitals mobile app (iOS/Android) brings all iHealth® products to life. Once you’ve downloaded it from the app store, you can customize it for the products you use. Now, it’s easy to set goals, track your progress and be inspired to manage your personal health in a more hands-on way, wherever you go. The app may be used on iOS version 5.0 or higher devices: iPod Touch® 5th Generation +, iPhone 4S +, iPad mini, and iPad 3rd Generation +, as well as select Android devices.
The iHealth® Wireless Pulse Oximeter is a reliable, convenient way to spot-check blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) and pulse rate (BPM). This lightweight and portable device takes fast, noninvasive measurements at the fingertip. This allows you to track and view your SpO2 and BPM readings directly on the device’s display and in the iHealth® SpO2 app during sports training or other recreational activities. Once you’ve downloaded the free iHealth® SpO2 app, you’ll be ready to use your wireless pulse oximeter device. Why it’s important Pulse oximeters measure the amount of blood haemoglobin that is oxygen-saturated. For a healthy individual, the normal SpO2 should be between 96 and 99 per cent. The normal resting pulse rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute. Knowing these figures can help you keep track of your blood oxygen and fitness level.
The innovative iBGStar® tests and analyzes your blood glucose, and fits conveniently into your pocket. While it can be used on its own, it also connects seamlessly with your iPhone or iPod Touch™—allowing you to view and analyze accurate, reliable information concerning your blood glucose, carb intake and insulin dose in “real time.” Using the iBGStar® Diabetes Manager app, you can share this information with your healthcare professional while on-thego, to help you make better-informed diabetes-related decisions together. Samples are analysed using Dynamic Electrochemistry® – an intelligent technology for results you can trust. To help constantly keep your blood glucose levels under control, you can retrieve analysis tables and diagrams at the touch of a fingertip. Why it’s important Monitoring your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes is an essential part of ensuring the condition is well managed. In recent years, the increasing incidence of pre-diabetes is bringing the importance of knowing your blood glucose levels to the forefront.
Why They’re Important
Tracking your fitness activities through wearable devices and mobile apps can increase your motivation to work out, manage your weight more productively, and have fun while doing so. Checking in with your online dashboard to see how well you have done, comparing your performance with previous performances, and knowing how many steps you took and calories you burned while hiking in the hills or washing the car, can provide the extra spark needed to get you off the sofa and getting physical. With some devices, you can even compare your workouts with those of friends or a fitness partner, and let a little competition further motivate you! Many users of connected fitness devices say they enjoy their devices so much that they go out of their way to add a few steps here and there, or go for an extra walk or run. Even vacuuming or mowing the lawn becomes a fitness activity instead of a chore. Samples are analysed using Dynamic Electrochemistry® – an intelligent technology for results you can trust. To help constantly keep your blood glucose levels under control, you can retrieve analysis tables and diagrams at the touch of a fingertip.
The Fitbit Flex™ Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband tracks steps, distance, and calories burned and shows you if you’re meeting your daily goals. At night, it tracks your sleep cycle, helps you learn how to sleep better, and wakes you silently in the morning. You can even wear it in the shower. The Fitbit Flex™ allows you to access your stats anytime on your computer, tablet or from leading smartphones – both iPhone and Android. Available in black and slate.
The compact Fitbit Zip makes fitness fun. It tracks your steps, distance, and calories burned, then wirelessly syncs the data to your Fitbit account through your computer or smartphone. Whether online or through the Fitbit app (iOS, Android), you can set personal goals and stay motivated with graphs, badges, and friendly competition.
The Fitbit One™ helps you be active, sleep well, and eat smarter. During the day, it tracks your steps, distance, calories burned, and stairs climbed. At night, it measures your sleep cycle, silently waking you in the morning, without disturbing your partner. As with all Fitbit models, your stats upload wirelessly via computer or select mobile device. Compact and discreet, the Fitbit One™ can be slipped into your pocket, or clipped on your bra or belt.
Why they’re important
An appropriate body fat percentage is essential to maintaining good health. For women, 14-31 per cent is considered a healthy range, and for men 6 -24 per cent. BMI (body mass index) relates body fat to height and weight. Knowing these figures gives you a powerful advantage for better managing your health to achieve long-term results.
The Fitbit Aria™ not only measures your weight, but helps you stay on track and achieve better results. It contains advanced technology to accurately assess your body fat percentage and BMI. The ultra-sleek Aria™ then syncs your stats through your WiFi network to your Fitbit online or mobile dashboard. Graphs and charts help you focus on long term trends and not short-term blips. Available in black or white.
Don’t be fooled by its cool design! The iHealth® Wireless Body Analysis Scale allows you to measure, track and share nine different characteristics of your body composition on the iHealth® mobile app. These include weight, body fat, lean mass, muscle mass, bone mass, body water, daily calorie intake, body mass index, and visceral fat rating. (You can use it online or off.)
Speak with the experts at your local London Drugs to discover which health tech gadgets fits your lifestyle best!