Fitness reporter Katy Healey shares exercise tips, tidbits, news and upcoming local races in her weekly column. Check out this VIDEO to learn more about Katy and LiveWellNebraska.
Americans hate being overweight, but we might hate debt more.
Three in four adults would rather weigh 10 extra pounds than assume $10,000 of debt, a Yahoo! and Reader's Digest survey shows.
(I'm wondering if those who prefer the debt have ever written a student loan check!)
What's more interesting is nearly half the 2,000 men and women polled still picked extra weight over debt when the pounds jumped to 50.
Yesterday, we asked readers on the World-Herald Facebook page which they would choose. Nearly everyone chose weight. One reader wrote, “I'd gain any amount to stay out of debt as long as I could work it off later.” Another reasoned that $10,000 debt would lead to stress, which is a precursor to weight gain. A valid point. But exercise is a proven stress-reliever, too.
One person even suggested anyone who chooses debt has “some seriously screwy priorities.”
But prioritizing your health seems pretty reasonable to me and a few others who responded on Facebook. One reader commented, “I would gain the 10 pounds but not the 50!!! It'd be easier to pay off the debt than to lose 50 pounds!!!”
Fifty pounds is a lot. It's like carrying around 163 iPhones. Or 4,000 quarters. Or a kindergartner.
And it's not easy to ditch that kind of baggage. Research shows around 5 percent of people who lose weight are successful keeping it off. It's by no means impossible – and shouldn't discourage anyone from making healthy lifestyle changes – but I'm not interested in finding out how I'd fare.
The health risks are too great. Obesity is related to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep problems and some cancers, along with a host of other issues.
Ironically, it threatens your financial well-being, too. The U.S. spent $147 billion on medical care related to obesity in 2008, according to the CDC website. Costly medication, doctor's visits and, in some cases, surgeries all take a toll on your bank account.
Whether you'd rather see a higher number on the scale or your credit statement, think about the risks associated with both. It's not an easy choice, but luckily, it's not one we really have to make.
See how people responded to our "would you rather” question on Facebook, and tell me what you think in the comment section at the bottom of the page.
> > The temperature is expected to reach the mid-70's this weekend. Take advantage of it, and run the 5-mile Frosty Fingers Trail Run on Sunday. (Be thankful the name doesn't line up with reality this time around.)
> > If this weather isn't enough to get you outside, free beer should. Sign up for the Blarney Stone 5K in Omaha or St. Patrick's Day Beer Run in Lincoln. Both races are on Saturday. (Read how beer affects you post-race first.)
> > I love to dip my veggies/pretzels/everything in hummus or a light dressing for an afternoon snack, but it's easy to go overboard. So I keep a shot glass at work. It's the perfect portion size. Just be prepared to explain it to your coworkers when it's empty. (See photo below)
> > WIN A FITNESS GAME FOR XBOX: Leave a comment below, or on any of my upcoming columns. I'll pick one commenter at random to win “Zumba Fitness Rush” for Xbox 360 for Kinect. Leave your email in your comment or send it to me: firstname.lastname@example.org.