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Move to improve your five metabolic health factors

December 15, 2018 GMT

Twelve percent of something is not much. To test this theory, I offered my youngest child 12 percent of the food I was eating, as he happened to be eyeing it. Twelve percent was roughly 1/8th of the food on my plate, so I divided it into eighths and gave him his agreed-upon share.

This did not make him happy. I could have argued it was better than nothing, but that would not have meant much. That 12 percent number has been on my mind.

A study published in the Journal of Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders from the University of North Carolina suggested that only 12 percent of the adult American population can be considered metabolically healthy. Only 1 in every 8 people! That’s dismal, at best.


By their definition, metabolic health is based on five health factors: Triglyceride levels, blood pressure, waist circumference, blood sugar levels, and the amount of good cholesterol (HDL) we have.

This correlates to 88 percent of the population being at higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, debility, and the potential for many other illnesses, all equating to a poor (or at least not as good as it could be) quality of life.

A lot of lifestyle factors go into those five key components of metabolic health. There is one lifestyle factor, however, that can lower your triglycerides, shrink your waist, lower your blood pressure, drop your blood sugars, and raise your HDL levels. That lifestyle factor is movement.

Purposeful exercise is best, but even just moving as often as possible really helps improve your metabolic profile. Just like my son and his disappointment with the amount of food he was given, I am really pushing for more when it comes to the metabolic health of everyone reading this. Move as often as you can!

Dr. Warren Willey is a Pocatello physician. Visit his website at http://drwilley.com.