If you’re looking for a society run by women, you could be looking at one all around you — or at least the rapid evolution toward one. The potential evidence is everywhere, but before we go into any examples, let’s take a step back and cover a few fundamental points in the debate. There are different ways the term matriarchy is defined, and it can get a little confusing. For example, some people consider matriarchies to mean women are the dominate gender in a society. They make the decisions, they drive the economy and they rule the politics — basically the flipside of patriarchies.
Are there answers to the great obesity debate?
For a long time, there was no question regarding the cause of obesity. It was accepted that people who did not watch what they eat and never got physical exercise were putting themselves at great risk for becoming overweight or obese. And then medical science stepped in, evaluated the various cause of obesity, and found that some people may be genetically disposed to becoming overweight or obese.
So what is the real answer? Is obesity brought on by genetics or what the individual eats and how much exercise he or she gets?
Much ado has been made recently over the finding of what has been politically incorrectly named the “Fat Gene.” Supposed to indicate an individual’s likelihood to wind up obese, the fat gene is at once a major scientific breakthrough and the cause of heartbreak for everyone found to have inherited this seeming inescapable fate of obesity.
However, this new finding isn’t the only known reason for an individual becoming obese. There are a handful of other conditions that normally lead to an individual gaining weight, often to the point of obesity. One of the most common is hypothyroidism. When the thyroid gland in your neck isn’t working properly, your body doesn’t make enough of a chemical that helps control the amount of energy it uses. As a result, you don’t burn enough calories to maintain a healthy weight, making it easy to become overweight or obese.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity comes down to a simple formula: bringing more energy into your body than you’re burning off over a long period of time. So when you eat more calories than you burn off during the course of a single day, you may not wind up gaining weight. But do this day after day, month after month, year after year, and you will be on the path to weight gain and potentially obesity. Work hard to burn more calories than you eat, and you should be able to maintain a healthy weight.
Regardless of any conditions that may make someone predisposed to weight gain, with enough work, many are able to maintain control of their weight. In fact, research has found that even individuals with the fat gene are given the upper hand against obesity if they’re willing to spend 60 minutes a day exercising, and medication for hypothyroidism helps improve the condition and make exercise more effective.
Together at Last
Though nature and nurture put an individual at risk for becoming obese, the combination is a guaranteed recipe for obesity. So if you find yourself living with a condition that puts you at risk for obesity, the fastest way to gain weight is to ignore your condition, eat whatever you want (whenever you want), and never exercise.
Other Gaining Conditions
In addition to hypothyroidism and the “fat gene,” the following conditions have also been linked to obesity:
- Brain tumor – specifically, a brain tumor in the part of the brain responsible for controlling your appetite or how much energy your body uses.
- Cushing’s syndrome – this is the name for a condition that causes the body to make too any chemicals that are in control of your body’s use of sugars and fats.
- Insulinoma – occurs when a pancreatic tumor causes the pancreas to create excessive amounts of insulin, a process that results in more sugar being turned to fat.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome – caused by the growth of cysts in the ovaries, this condition results in women not ovulating on schedule. Whereas the other conditions listed are clearly linked to obesity, researchers are unsure whether this comes first or whether it is caused by obesity.
…without going out of your mind.
If you’ve got young kids, you may find it challenging to set an exercise routine and stick to it. You can’t leave the house without them and if you don’t have a sitter to watch your kids or you try exercising at home, then they run underfoot, begging for your attention.
If this sounds like you, you need some ideas on how to incorporate your kids into your daily exercises – rain or shine. After all, what better way is there to spend time with your children than teaching them the importance of good health?
On the Outside
When the weather permits, there are great ways to exercise with your kids outdoors. The most convenient might be to take a walk or run outside. For parents with toddlers, grab the stroller and head around the block a few times. Some strollers are made for running and kids love to feel the breeze and see the scenery fly by. If you have an infant, they usually love to be outdoors snuggling close in a baby carrier, while you go walking or hiking on a nearby trail.
Another great outdoor activity to do together is bike riding. This is something you can do with young or old kids. With young children, a wonderful piece of equipment for any family is a bike trailer. You can ride your bike at any speed and your children sit in the trailer enjoying the breeze. If your kids are old enough, you can each ride your own bike, developing your child’s confidence and well-being at the same time.
During the hot summer months, if you have access to a swimming pool, take advantage! Water gives you a great chance for exercise also. Swimming is one of the best exercises for all shapes and sizes. If you don’t like to swim around, just chasing your kids around the water or walking in shallow water are better than nothing.
If you have older kids, take a trip to the neighborhood park for a game of basketball or tennis. Or get a group of kids and parents together and play a round or two of soccer or football. Besides being great exercise opportunities for everyone, these create great memories and bonding experiences for everyone involved.
Keep It In
When the weather is cold or rainy, you shouldn’t count exercise out. Instead, either get to the gym for some complimentary babysitting while you get your own workout time or try the following at home:
- Dancing. One thing both kids and parents enjoy together is dancing. Turn up your favorite dance tunes and get moving! Enjoy yourself and let loose, and don’t worry about looking silly, because no one is watching! If you can’t really dance, then just do some repetitive aerobic moves in sync to the music.
- Lifting. If you have toddlers, a great strength-building exercise is lifting. Lift your child up in the air as many times as you can. They love it and your body says “Thank you” with each lift. Then get on your back on the floor and place your child on your legs and lift your legs as high as you can. Repeat these moves a few times and you’ll start to feel the burn.
- Watching. These days you can buy workout videos for you and your kids to do together. What kid doesn’t like watching a movie? Now you can get them off the sofa and start moving to the workout together.
- Playing. An entertaining new workout for all ages is using the wii video games to get moving. With the wii system, you can play all kinds of sports, from tennis to baseball to bowling, in the comfort of your living room.
With these indoor and outdoor exercise ideas, your kids are no longer a good excuse to not work out. Now that your excuses are gone, how will you get fit?