More than 1 in 2 people in the Yarra Ranges are obese or overweight

According to a July 2013 study by the Victorian Department of Health 50.9% of people in the Hills are reportedly overweight or obese

This means that more than 1 in 2 people in our community are overweight or obese! How can this be? We have such great outdoor areas and such a beautiful environment around us and yet we have this huge problem. Why is it a huge problem? No, I don’t care about the cosmetics. What I do care about is the impact this has on lives. Being overweight or obese is considered one of the top risk factors for Heart Disease, Stroke, Cancer, Diabetes and Alzheimers later in life. Many of these risks do occur later in life and often we don’t even consider them as a problem because we don’t see the immediate impact it is having now.

As our society becomes increasingly more overweight the impact this has on our world multiplies. Yes there are health costs but there is a bigger cost, the cost of not being able to live the life we are capable of. Enjoying the beautiful parks and walks in the Yarra Ranges becomes more difficult, playing with our children becomes more difficult, having the energy to enjoy every “ordinary” moment.

At Paragon Martial Arts we want our entire community to enjoy life to the fullest. We want to help our community become a community of superheroes.

So how do we get Superhero health?

It isn’t as hard as many people believe. It is not a complicated concoction of miracle diets and secret exercises. There are some simple changes that you can make right now that will impact on your health immediately.

  1. Forget the scales. Kilograms are a terrible way to measure your health and weight. Choose a different measure such as your activity level or body shape and monitor that.
  2. Keep it simple. Increased activity + Nutrient rich diet = Healthier life
  3. Ensure you eat a healthy diet. This is key! More fruits, more vegetables and more water. If you are unsure check out some of the things Jamie Oliver is doing. He is doing an amazing job of changing peoples perception about food. Many of us believe that it is too expensive, takes too much effort and takes too long to prepare nutrient rich meals. If you follow some of Jamie Oliver’s suggestions you will start to see that you can do it no matter how busy you are.
  4. Eat slower. Our appetite is controlled by a complex system that I won’t go into detail in right now. The important thing to know is that it takes approximately 10 minutes for the message that your stomach is full to get to the brain. If you eat more slowly you will find you will eat less.
  5. Get up! Spend more time during the day standing and walking. Set up patterns to encourage you to walk more. Park further away from the school and take advantage of the time to walk the kids to the gate (this is also a great chance to have some quiet time with the kids). When shopping take the car park that is furthest away from the door. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
  6. Find an activity you enjoy. Don’t join the gym! This is a sure way to lead to failure. Exercise does not have to be boring and does not have to hurt. Find something that you enjoy doing and start with that. Once you start seeing some success you will be more motivated to continue and maybe even up the intensity level.
  7. Balance short term wants with long term desires. When you feel the urge to skip activity or eat junk balance out the long term impact of that decision. Our brains tend to magnify the pleasure of a short term reward and shrink the long term pleasure. Living a healthy life is a long term perspective. If you understand the tricks your brain plays then you can magnify the long term reward.
  8. Inertia. Inertia is one of the things that tends to stop most people. That first step is the hardest step. Once you have started it is much easier to keep going. When it gets to times where you can’t be bothered remember inertia and just start. Once you have started the momentum will keep you going.
  9. Do it with friends! Just like Batman has Robin to help him save the world, it is much easier to make a lifestyle change when you do it with friends. You can support each other through the tough times and celebrate all the successes with each other.
  10. Don’t be afraid to tweak things as you go. You know your body best. Start listening to it and your body will tell you what it needs.

Small changes when repeated over time can make a huge impact on your life and your health. At Paragon Martial Arts we encourage all our students to live a healthier life, to live like a superhero. We motivate each other and help each other become more than we thought we could be. It is this support combined with having a lot of fun that makes such a huge difference to lives.

That figure of 50.9% can be lowered and in doing so the quality of our lives and our children’s lives will sky rocket. Superheroes understand that these small changes, small disciplines, are what truly bring out our superpowers.

For more information about our classes and how we create superheroes please visit our website at www.mykarateschool.com.au or call us on 9754 5445.

Have a Super Day!

Sensei Cameron
Paragon Martial Arts

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