Despite recent warnings of the effects of the sedentary lifestyle, combined with a high-stress lifestyle and a diet that is too rich in unhealthy oils, fats and sugars, South Asians continue to face a significantly high risk of insulin resistance, heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes.
According to a nutrition expert, Dr. Ronesh Sinha, author of the book South Asian Diet Solution, it is becoming increasingly common to find patients in their 30s who do not eat meat or smoke, yet suffer from diabetes and heart attacks.
It is vital, he says, to exercise, and meet the goal of 10,000 steps per day. He notes, “Twenty to 30 minutes on an elliptical machine are better than nothing, but can hardly counter the adverse metabolic effects of marathon sitting sessions.”
In other words, it is not just the total time you sit per day that counts, if not how often you take breaks – get up and move around frequently, to avoid the negative health effects of sedentarism. Strength training, too, is important and should be part of your workout routine, to keep life-threatening diseases at bay and to enhance body positivity.
Strong, Resistant, Fit
A new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology backs what Dr. Sinha has noted. The researchers found that if you want to add years to your life, strength training is just as important as cardiovascular exercise. The study, involving over 80,000 adults, concluded that people who did strength based exercises had a 23% smaller risk of premature death by any means, and a 31% reduction in cancer-related mortality.
The World Health Organization recommends that we spend 30 minutes a day on aerobic activity, and undertake strength training (either resistance or weights training) at least twice a week yet many South Asians fall short on this aim, often because they lack the motivation to do so.
Resources to Help us Achieve our Desired Fitness Level
Those finding it tough to make it to the gym or even aim for the required 10,000 steps a day, should find the motivation they need from the popular workout and diet programs that have already helped many people in their situation. Rather than opting for unrealistic or stringent plans, a commonsense approach is key to a long-term commitment.
One program that takes a realistic approach to fitness goals is The Fat Loss Factor Diet and Fitness Program, involving an initial two-week ‘cleanse’ followed by a less strict diet plan that involves eating whole, unprocessed foods – pretty easy to follow yet effective.
If you are insulin resistant, The Diabetes 60 System Diet Plan is specifically catered to those who may be confused about what they should and shouldn’t eat. One program that is very popular with women is The Venus Factor – which has helped thousands achieve a true transformation.
There are many diets and workout plans to choose from, yet it can sometimes be difficult to find the inspiration we need to make a change. With recent research showing that South Asians have a higher likelihood of heart disease and diabetes, we should aim to avoid marathon sitting sessions, including cardiovascular and strength training in our workout program, and rely on tried-and-tested methods to help us look and feel terrific, and add years to our lives.