Welcome to The Yoga Mile’s special weight management blog series!
Part 1 of our Yoga and weight management series, explores ‘what is an ideal body weight’. That blog will the readers in arriving at a much better understanding of their current body composition and body fat distribution. Part 2 looks at the reasons – physiological and mental – behind abnormal weight gain. Part 4 looks at how yoga helps in managing weight. In this part we will look at the various health risks from obesity.
The various health risks of obesity
Obesity is much more than just a change in the size of clothes we buy. It is a life-threatening condition, and it is surely not an exaggeration. Unchecked obesity can lead to various multiple health problems. It is important to be aware of the risks of obesity because it will help us that much more in being careful with out diet, being regular with our exercise routines and not letting complacency or a sense of ‘I am like this only’ to set in and limit our self-growth.
1. Damage to the skeleto-muscular structure
Obesity is different from gigantism. In gigantism, the whole human body increases in size, everything more or less in proportion to each other. In obesity, however, the skeleton-muscular structure remains as is, only the fat in the body increases beyond healthy limits. In such a scenario, the weight born by the skeleton-muscular structure increases greatly, beyond what the structure is designed to handle and thus the structure starts getting deformed. One example of this is exaggerated curvature in spine, others being overworked knees and ankles.
2. Suffocation of internal organs
As we saw in previous blogs on this series, obesity is not weight deposited mere superficially, but throughout the inner linings of he organs. This makes the inner walls of the various glands, intestines, and other visceral organs hugely suffocated and reduces their optimum performance simply because there is no space for them to do their jobs well!
3. Inefficient absorption and elimination
Too much fat in the body also indicates presence of cholesterol, blood that is viscous rather than of normal flowy consistency and organs that are lined with excess fat. For example, obesity increases the chances of developing fatty liver which hugely affects the processing of the nutrients and the elimination of harmful substances from blood.
4. Greater pressure on the heart
The pressure on the heart increases manifold with obesity as arteries become narrow with cholesterol deposits and the total area to be supplied with blood increases disproportionately to the natural capacity of the circulatory system. This leads to high blood pressure and increases risk of heart attacks and episodes of angina.
5. Shallow breathing and thus poor cellular respiration
Excess weight on the chest and the relevant breathing muscles makes the inhalation and exhalation process somewhat burdensome and affects the total quantity of oxygen taken in and the carbon di oxide expelled (hypo-ventilation). This leads to poor utilization of energy, poor oxygenation, repair and rejuvenation of the cells throughout the body.
6. Reduced span and quality of life
Obesity creates an inviting environment for various lifestyle diseases to sprout – such as diabetes, liver disorders and thyroid disturbances. These affect the body’s immunity to various other diseases and create various limitations on the person suffering from the same due to the metabolic processes being highly constrained and badly impacted.
The Yoga and Weight Management series is focused towards bringing greater awareness among health conscious people about the nature, causes and cures for obesity so that they can take adequate steps to arrest it in time and live a healthier, more fulfilling life. Stay tuned!