News

Carnival is...

Going through their paces at the high energy blink | bmobile Carnival burn
 
One of the downsides of Carnival is the way it allows us to minimise serious issues under the excuse of culture. Every year the season liberates us from mature consideration of issues like alcoholism and obesity until the relevant ministerial authorities quotes statistics on the high financial and human cost of these behaviours.
 
The “Carnival burn” has as a result become a feature of carnival with blink | bmobile and various others staging free workout sessions to get people in shape not just for carnival but for life. The blink | bmobile Carnival burn sessions at the Queens Park Savannah, are a pre carnival measure for weight loss, fighting obesity and promoting a healthy life style and it should not be taken lightly or in isolation.
 
Trinidad and Tobago has rapidly grown to become among the world’s fattest countries. The country earned this designation because the average Trinidad and Tobago adult weighs 159.92 pounds, ranking us at the 23rd fattest country in the world, with approximately 30% of the adult population obese.  This compares to the United States which has an obesity rate per population of 31.9%. In the Caribbean region, there is one of the highest incidences of obesity in the world, especially with respect to children. 
 
Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it results in negative health effects, including a reduction of life expectancy. Individuals are considered obese based on their Body Mass Index (BMI), which is a calculation incorporating measurements of an individual’s weight and height. 
 
A BMI which exceeds 30 is defined as being obese. A person with a BMI equal to or over 25 is considered overweight, a normal BMI is considered between 18.5 and 24.9. 
 
Obesity usually results from a combination of causes and risk factors, and while it is good that people have encouraging self impressions of themselves regardless of their weight, make no mistake being obese is not a safe place to stay. Some of the causes and risks include:
  • genetics, as your genes may affect the amount of body fat you store and where it is distributed, 
  • physical inactivity in individuals living a sedentary life and do not burn as much calories, 
  • Unhealthy diet and eating habits, this includes having a diet that is high in calories, fast foods, skipping breakfast or consuming high caloric drinks and eating oversized portions. 
  • Family life style, this is not just because of genetics but family members having the same eating habits. 
  • Lack of sleep, this can result in the tendency to have cravings with increase in caloric and carbohydrate intake. 
  • Social and Economic issues where individuals may not have safe areas to exercise or may not have been thought healthy ways of cooking or may not have the financial means to access healthier foods. 
 
The health complications of obesity are many and these range from depression to diabetes, hypertension and of heart disease and stroke. For these reasons, personal wellness should be everyone’s goal. Obesity can be addressed in several ways and consulting a doctor is a good place to start a discussion on what options suit different individual’s best. These options include dietary modification and exercise and for some surgery. Although bariatric surgery is new to our territory it can be highly effective, however, this type of surgery must be done after a strict evaluation and recommendation by one’s clinician. Even if one is deemed an acceptable candidate for this type of surgery it still requires behaviour modification afterwards if the benefits are to be sustained. 
 
Technology can also play a role in personal fitness through the rapid explosion of apps and smart phones. These tech tools give individuals personal and immediate access to programs that can be tailored to help individuals realise their fitness goals. As with any type of health regimen it is always advisable to consult a physician before starting but after that, take consistent steps towards your fitness goals. 
Fitness apps have revolutionised the way individuals can monitor their bodies. Devices can be comfortably worn simply around the wrist or by an arm band, as they track your caloric intake, heart rate, distance travelled, speed and trends in performance. The beauty of these devices and applications are that they can integrate with your personal computer to give meaningful information on your progress. This information can be reviewed by a physician and provide valuable insight with respect to the management of your wellness. 
 
Many modern work environments have now integrated the provision of office gym facilities to make it easier for employees to keep on course with their fitness goals. These facilities allows a form of de-stressing during working time but it also enhances job performance as well as promotes healthier lifestyles within the office space as part of corporate wellness or employee assistance programmes.  
 
The bottom line is, doing nothing is not the desirable option when it comes to your health. Access to the expert advice of doctors, nutritionists, physical trainers, coaching apps, recreational facilities and companionship for a wellness journey is within easy reach. You just need to take that first step.