By The Topeka Capital-Journal, Oct. 3
Gov. Sam Brownback is in no danger of ever being mistaken for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. If the two governors were to do a Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy skit, everyone knows who would be cast as the heavyset Hardy.
Although he doesn’t carry a lot of extra weight on his frame, Brownback is well aware too many Kansans are packing around more fat than is good for them. To his credit, Brownback has taken a leading role in encouraging Kansans to get active and shed the extra pounds, which are, or will one day, lead to additional health problems.
The truth is, Kansans shouldn’t need encouragement to do something that would be so personally rewarding and beneficial in terms of better health and longer, more active lives.
During the Kansas Governor’s Council of Fitness’ second annual Kansas Obesity Summit on Monday, the governor repeated the keys to fighting obesity — eating less, and better, and exercising more.
Finding the willpower to take those steps may be the most difficult aspect of starting a weight-loss program, but if the willpower is there the rest of the formula is relatively easy and something any overweight Kansan can do.
It doesn’t cost more to eat well. If fact, it can cost less, much less for those who are purchasing their calories ready-to-eat instead of buying the right groceries and cooking at home.
As far as exercise, there is an abundance of opportunities just outside our front doors. Walking is one of the best ways to begin an exercise program. Walkers can begin with short distances at a moderate pace (if you’re just loitering along you aren’t exercising) and work up to longer distances at a faster pace. The combination of a proper diet and a regular walking regimen is certain to shed excess pounds.
For Topekans, multiple paved walking and bicycling trails are available if the neighborhood walk gets boring. For those who prefer longer distances without the pavement, there are miles on trails behind Cedar Crest, as the governor noted Monday. Most cities of any size across Kansas offer some type of hiking and biking trail.
At last report, about two-thirds of adult Kansans are overweight or obese. For health reasons, physical or mental, some people aren’t going to be able to take off as much weight as they should to shed the obese label. Most Kansans who are overweight, however, are in that condition because they choose to be so through their eating habits or lack of exercise, or both.
They should take the advice of their physicians and their governor and determine to lose some weight.