I posed myself this question “Can you be fat and fit?” I was back at the gym yesterday morning after a long hiatus (I needed great encouragement to make me go) and decided to do some cardio work. The treadmills were all occupied, the stationary bikes were free but I find them mind numbingly boring and then there was the aerobic studio but I’m really, REALLY not ready for that torture. So that left me with the final option of using the elliptical machine, which is fine by me.
I stretched, stepped on, adjusted the settings to “medium hard”, set the time then off I went. There was a woman on the machine next to me working at a similar pace, then she left. Two brothers (not bruthas) got on soon after to be replaced by a tall muscular man and then by a muscular woman. All worked out at a good pace, all were sweating, as was I, but I out lasted them all. I worked out for 50 minutes.
Now, here’s the thing. After each person had finished their exercise they would give me that side eye glance that said “How the hell can a guy your size still be going strong without having a heart attack???” And it is not the first time that I’ve seen that look! The assumption is that I should be unhealthy. Now, I have had a recent check-up. Blood sugar level? Low. Blood pressure? Normal. Cholesterol? Low. Heart? Good. I don’t drink and don’t smoke which is also good. Weight? Not good. Overweight, obese!! So, let’s investigate: Can you be fat and still be fit?
There has been much research around this subject but you have to delve into it so that you can separate the wheat from the chaff. In 2012 the European Society of Cardiology assessed the research published by the European Heart Journal. Their conclusion suggests that when an obese person’s blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and other health indicators fall within a healthy range, they are at no greater risk of premature death caused by heart disease than a person of normal weight. But the Journal of The American College of Cardiology states that this is only partially right. The authors of the article (Joshua Bell et al) suggest that being fat and fit is only a temporary phase on the journey to becoming overweight and unhealthy. His study followed a group of government workers for 20 years where, at the end of the study, 50% of them went from “healthy fat” to “unhealthy fat”.
So, what does this tell me. To me it screams out “BE HEALTHY!” Go to the gym, exercise, eat less processed food. Be active. This will be the best way to guarantee a long and physically successful life. This is the best way to out last those on the elliptical, then you can give them the side eye back :))