With the New Year comes New Year's resolutions. Each year, a large percentage of Americans resolve that they will get in shape and lose weight. A survey conducted last year by FranklinConvey Products found that two of the top three New Year's resolutions in both 2009 and 2010 involved exercising more and losing weight. Yet despite resolving to get in shape year after year, 68 percent of adult Americans continue to be overweight, with 33.8 percent classified as obese, according to the National Institutes of Health.
The breakdown based on gender is: 64.1 percent of women and 72.3 percent of men are obese or overweight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average American woman weighs 164.7 pounds with a height of 63.8 inches, while the average man weights 194.7 pounds with a height of 69.4 inches. But despite growing waist lines and continued resolutions to lose weight, by the time February and March roll around many of us have gone back to our old routines that often do not include a healthy amount of exercise. After all, it's often hard to find time to exercise between work, taking care of a family, running errands, making dinner and dealing with all the other things life throws our way.
For many of us, it's not that we're lazy, but we just don't have the time. Interestingly enough, our health -- both mentally and physically -- is the one thing that affects "all of the other things" that we deem more important in our short term, day to day lives, yet it is too often not a priority when compared to other things that fill up our daily schedules.
Physically, exercise has been found to ward off against many illnesses including heart disease, stroke, some types of cancer, respiratory problems, high cholesterol and type II diabetes, in addition to increasing metabolism, strengthening bones and burning fat. Mentally, studies have found that exercise can have positive effects on the brain.