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Home Brewing

Home Brewing Time!

I started this project the Saturday before the Boston Marathon. Everyone was out of the house that day so I took my opportunity to boil a batch of wort. No one in my house likes the smell of hops and malt.

It took a little over a day before the yeast became active. Then it just took off and fermented vigorously. The little cap on the top of the bubbler kept getting blown off and I’d hear it bouncing across the basement tile.

home brewing, hobbies
Active fermentation

This picture was taken as the fermentation was just taking off. Later that day the bubbler was full of wort and the cap to keep air out was bouncing across the floor!

This is a great project to have going while training for a marathon. After I spent a few hours making the wort and setting up the 5 gallon carboy, there wasn’t much to do except watch and take a whiff from the top of the bubbler!

My whole basement smelled like a glass of IPA for almost two weeks. I’d come home from work, sit down at the computer and almost instantly have a craving for an IPA. It was crazy.

Since I was in taper mode and needed my carbs, I did tend to have one IPA per day. When drinking a substantial ale, I usually find that one is enough. There are times when several beers or ales taste great, but for just kicking around the house it’s usually one for me.

IPA, fermentation, home brewing
Fermentation has ceased
Fermentation has ceased

While fermentation looks to be complete, it’s always a good idea to check the specific gravity of the wort. You want to make sure that most of the sugar has been fermented. This keeps your bottles from blowing up during the curing process. The yeast needs some sugar for conditioning, but too much can make a mess and can be dangerous.

In my old house I had a closet where I would put the bottles for conditioning. It was cool in the summer and kept them away from the kids. It’s not that they were interested in the ale, but kids are curious. I didn’t want them picking up a bottle to look at it and then dropping in the cement floor. Or worse, having them near a bottle when it exploded. Sometimes while I was watching TV upstairs I would hear a bottle explode!

When we moved out of our house I found a lot more glass in that closet than I had expected. I thought I had picked things up as they happened, but apparently not. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

For this batch, I’ve placed the bottles in a heavy cardboard box and put them in the garage. The temperature should be fairly constant, around 50-55F. I also put a 10lb bag of salt on top of the box in case something happens.



Run well my friends,


© anagelin 2014

Food for thought

As runners many of us spend a fair amount of time thinking about our diets and what we eat.

There are so many different theories out there: No carb, high carb, fasting, juicing. You can find articles pro and con on all of them. I found this blog on the low card diet called Ketopia. Over the past few months I read many of the posts and watched some of the videos.

Here is the Wikipedia definition of the Ketogenic diet

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fuelling brain function. However, if there is very little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood, a state known as ketosis, leads to a reduction in the frequency of epileptic seizures.[1]

How much Sugar do we need?

Some people say that we only need 20 grams of carbohydrates a day to survive. By drastically reducing carbohydrates in our diet we change the way our bodies make energy. This change can also combat insulin resistance, diabetes and cancer. Pretty amazing.

fructose, sucrose, sugar
Sugar -courtesy

A while ago I watched a presentation by Dr. Robert Lustig on sugar. He went through the science of sugar metabolism, biology and chemistry. It’s way beyond what I recall from high school biology. I trust that his science is correct and that what he is saying in important. Ketopia has a link to one of Dr. Lustig’s presentations and many others that are worth watching.

I’ve been trying to cut back on my sugar in 2014. I’ve switched from coffee with sugar to tea without sugar. I’m probably saving about 4 Tbs of sugar a day.

I also think about the sugar in foods I eat and am trying to make some changes. I’m not sure if making a few small changes are enough or worth it, or do I need to go all in in order for this to have any effect on my health.

I’m not a scientist and I don’t understand biochemistry, but I’m trying.

Are you trying to cut sugar from your diet? Are you on a low carb diet?

Live well my Friends.

© 2014 Andrew nagelin

Janathon Day 12 Incrementalism

The streak may be over but the quest for marathon fitness continues.

I MAY get out for a short run today or to the gym. I already did 35 squats while watching Fareed Zakaria GPS. this morning. Now I just need 45 more, 40 lunges, 40 backward lunges and someplace in the house I can do 30 burpees. That one could be difficult.

Party time in Melrose, 02176

Last night The Melrose Running Club held their annual holiday party. We like to do it after the first of the year. Everyone is too busy in December and still adding miles to their yearly total. It’s also fun to have an excuse to party in January when everyone has the blahs.

We had the Knights of Columbus Hall, where MRC is based out of. We had the running DJ Mike Hartin playing a variety of tunes. None of which were wedding classics like Sinatra, Songs your Grandmother used to sing, or The Electric Slide. Across the parking lot the American Legion was having their own party with a live band. They were pretty good.

As I took items back to my car in the parking lot, I could hear the music from the two venues echoing off of the buildings. It was odd to be in a party environment like that in Melrose. New Orleans or Boston, maybe. Not Melrose.

I’ve been with the club for six years now. In 2011 I had the most PRs of any male runner in the club: Five. They gave me a nice trophy and I was totally shocked. We track all kinds of running stats for all of our members and post them on our website. I never really paid much attention to the numbers until I won the award in 2011.

It’s really just for fun, but people do compete and keep an eye on their ranking. In 2013 I was training for The Baystate Marathon. I managed a PR finish at 3:47. Along the way to Lowell, I racked up 7 other PRs and two 3rd in my age group finishes.

Achieving eight new PRs and the two 3rd place finishes just blew my mind. Where was this coming from? How was I doing this? Several people asked me this question throughout the year. I never had a good answer and often said “It’s the shoes” after I started running in the Newton “Sir Isaacs”.

In my “2103 in Review” post I recounted how a friend recently asked me the same question. What are you doing differently? Us old guys are supposed to be slowing down. As I told him “not much” and listed out the half-dozen or so things I changed in 2013 it dawned on me that I fell back on an old habit of mine.


I’m as lazy as the next guy or gal. Big changes are difficult for me and difficult to sustain. I avoid big changes. I’m an incrementalist. Spell check doesn’t like that word, so I guess I can TM it. Being an incrementalist means that I like to make change a little bit at a time. I make a small change here or there. I didn’t quit eating meat, but I did stop eating cold cuts. I ran more miles in 2013 but I did it by running more consistently. No Ultra Marathons for me. There were other small changes that were easy to make.

The reasons New Year’s resolution’s have such a high failure rate is that people often make grand gestures. Sometimes they make resolutions early in December when their commitment is weeks away. Sometimes they make these grand gestures with a drink in one hand and a cocktail shrimp in the other at a New Year’s Eve party. Ca-razy!

The other reason these resolutions fail is that humans are essentially lazy. Even you, my dear reader, are essentially a lazy ass. I’m the biggest lazy ass of them all. That’s why I do not make big resolutions.

Making incremental changes over the course of 2013 I was able to run faster. I was able to run faster relative to my peers, and that is what I find amazing. They don’t give out medals for moving from 60% to 40% in the brackets. If you get a PR doing it, than it is dooly noted. Otherwise, moving up in your age group is noticed by no one but your self.

The Male 40-45 or 40-50 is an incredibly competitive bracket. I have finished races in the top 20% overall but in the top third in my bracket, or lower. Even in this very competitive group I have managed to move into the top third in my bracket at most races.

Runners make small changes to their routines all the time. We try a new shoe and see how it works. We try a new food or drink and see how it works. We know not to change five things at the same time and we know not to make changes on race day. We runners are all incrementalists.

I’m an incrementalist, and so can you!

While runners can be incredibly focused and goal oriented, I think incrementalism can work for anyone pursuing a goal.

  • Did you resolve to exercise in 2014?
  • What can you do today or tomorrow at work to take a step in the right direction?
  • Can you take the stairs instead of the elevator?
  • Can you park your car at the far end of the lot?
  • Can you walk to the next bus stop, or get off the bus or train at an earlier stop?

If you resolved to lose weight, have you started a food journal? Go stick a little note-book in your bag or purse right now. Or download an app to your smart phone. Don’t quit eating pizza, just eat one slice less. Maybe throw away the left over pizza, or get plain cheese instead of double sausage.

Small change over time adds up to big results in the long run.

Run well my friends!


© 2014 anagelin

New Year’s Resolutions

What are you doing today?

Here we are about a week away from the New Year. Often, resolutions are made on these evenings with a beverage in hand, a smile on the lips and not a care in our minds. It is a celebration after all, and all are in high spirits on such a momentous evening as New Year’s Eve.

It is the night we leave behind our troubles and worries from the previous year, and look forward with hope, ambition and desire towards the fresh New Year before us. It is not just the beverage that makes us a little whimsical and unrealistic. It is the moment; this brief period of time, the stillness of the air, the moment between breaths, when we feel all those things we were not able to accomplish or achieve previously, can be accomplished and achieved in the New Year. Hope springs anew on the crisp winter eve. Resolutions are made.

We have all been there, we have all done that. But who has the t-shirt that says “I gave up on my big plans and dreams before the break of dawn, January 1st of every year of my life?” Studies say that by the end of January a third have given up on their resolutions, and by July over half have given up. I’m shocked that the numbers who keep their resolutions are this high. Seeing the crowd in the gym drop off near the end of January makes me think a lot more than half of people give up way before July.

Today is your day

Don’t wait until you’ve had a few cocktails and your belly is full of rich food on New Years Eve to decide it is time to change your life. Grab a slip of paper from your desk and jot down two or three things you would like to change or do more of or less of.

I know it’s tempting to write down really big things that you want to do. Resolution time is the time to be ambitious and go big, right? But let’s look at this another way; rather than having an overly ambitious goal, how about having a more moderate goal, one that you can have a reasonable expectation of achieving.

Why set a course for failure when you are planning what to do. That’s the same thing as planning to fail. You can choose an achievable goal that has meaning in your life. You do not need to impress anyone else with some lofty goal that you have no hope of accomplishing.

This is for you. This is your day. Do it today. Write down your goals now.

Studies have shown that specific goals are more likely to be achieved. A specific goal would be something like, “I want to lose 5lbs by the end of February and 10lbs by December 1st 2013.” Just saying that you want to lose weight is not specific enough.

Modest goals that are achievable are more likely to be achieved. If you want to start running this year, setting your sights on a 5K is more realistic than going for a marathon. If you want to lose weight this year, you are more likely to lose 5lbs than 50lbs over the course of the year.

It’s not that you should not be ambitious, but sticking with a 5K training plan is better than quitting a marathon training plan. Losing 5lbs and then building on that success to lose another 5lbs is better than setting a goal of 50lbs and then quitting because you only lost 5lbs in two months.

Now What?

Setting achievable goals and then establishing new habits to attain these goals is your path to long-term success. Getting into a jogging or running routine that you can maintain for life is a worthy goal, as is learning how to deal with your cravings or changing your eating habits.

Now that you have specific and achievable goals it is time to think about how you are going to accomplish your goals. I won’t list all of the web sites where you can find help quitting smoking or losing weight or finding ways to gain control of your anger or fear. Google can help you find those.

I want you to write down one or two things that you can do to help you accomplish your goals. They do not need to be dramatic and grand. Small steps taken consistently will get you to where you want to go. You have your destination set, now plan how you are going to get there.

Changing Your Diet

Making small changes that you can live with are best. If your goal is to lose weight then the best way to start is with a food journal. All that you need to do is take a small note-book and stick it in your pocket. Write down everything that you eat for a week and then look at it. There will probably be some obvious problem areas that you can work on and achieve your weight loss goals. Do you drink a lot of soda or go out for lunch every day? Do you use cream in your coffee every day, several times a day?

You may find that by changing just one or two of your eating habits that you can lose 5lbs in a year. If you maintain the new eating habit you will probably keep the weight off and may continue to lose.

I know 5lbs in a year doesn’t sound like much. But how much did you lose last year? How much did you gain last year? If you can take control of your diet this year through small changes you can stop and even reverse the annual weight gain most of us experience.

Here is a good web site to find the calories in the foods that you eat. If you scroll down on the home page you will find their listing to look up calories. It may surprise you how many calories are in some foods you eat and how making one or two small changes in your diet could add up to real and sustainable weight loss. This is not about crash or fad diets. It’s about making small changes that you can live with and that will add up to better health over time. They also list activities that you can use to burn additional calories.

Here is another good web site that I found recently. They have the same philosophy as I do, as stated on their “Tutorial” page:

Our concept of a “diet” is a change in lifestyle: Learning to eat well and exercise in a healthy way that you can enjoy for the rest of your life. The concept is not unique. It is one you will likely hear about from a health professional. Our purpose is not to help you with your next diet, but to help you put an end to the dieting cycle. Temporary weight loss is of little benefit.

Their tutorial has a lot of good information and is an easy read. They have a lot of good tools and information on the site, and I think you will find it very interesting.

Both of these web sites have ads, are looking to sell books and have premium services. But I think they have fewer ads than sites like is now part of I’m not sure how you feel about Lance Armstrong, but has a lot of great information and tools for you also.

Increasing Physical Activity

Increasing your physical activity in the New Year is a great way to lose weight and/or increase your fitness. If you burn a few more calories through increased activities and reduce your caloric intake you can accelerate your weight loss, but in a healthy and sustainable way.

Both of the web sites I mentioned have good information on burning additional calories. You do not need to start training for a triathlon. It can be as simple as walking the dog or you can find a “Couch to 5K” program at, and other web sites.

You will be pleased to note that tells you how many calories you can burn through sexual activity. There is truly something for everyone when it comes to increasing physical activity and caloriecount has a fairly extensive listing for you.

New Years Resolutions

I know that not all New Year’s resolutions are about getting healthy or losing weight. But this blog is about running and providing advice to people who want to start running. My passion is running and staying healthy. If you are reading my blog and have gotten this far, then you must have a passion for health and exercise as well.

I hope you will take a few minutes to write down your health and fitness goals for 2013. Then, I hope you will visit some web sites or read some books to see how you can make big changes in your life with small changes in your diet and activities.

Live well my friends


© anagelin

Whats your number?

We are constantly hearing about the obesity epidemic in the United States. For a variety of reasons, including genetics and lifestyle, we as a country are getting heavier and less healthy.

From a National perspective the results of this trend are frightening. From a personal perspective they can be tragic.

What is obesity, how do you know if you are obese, and, why worry about it?

What is Obesity?

Obese is a funny sounding word with serious consequences. I think most of us know what obesity looks like, but what is the difference between being overweight and being obese.

Overweight is defined as a body weight that exceeds an average or that exceeds what is generally considered healthy.

Obesity is a complex disorder involving an excessive amount of body fat.

While many of us can subjectively define “overweight” or “obese”, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) uses the body Mass Index, or BMI, to define overweight and obesity ranges.

The definitions for adults are:

  • An adult who has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight.
  • An adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.

The following table provides an example.

Height Weight Range BMI Considered
5′ 9″ 124 lbs or less Below 18.5 Underweight
125 lbs to 168 lbs 18.5 to 24.9 Healthy weight
169 lbs to 202 lbs 25.0 to 29.9 Overweight
203 lbs or more 30 or higher Obese

The CDC link above will give you for more information on BMI and weight trends in the United States.

Whats your number?

The CDC provides a BMI calculator for adults and one for children and teens at their website. You can use these links to calculate your own BMI.

BMI does not directly measure the amount of fat that your body has. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated using a person’s weight and height. No other factors are taken into account.

While the BMI is quick and easy to calculate, there are more accurate methods to measure body fat.

The BMI calculation is a good place for you to start, even though it does not take into account your gender, ethnicity, frame size or muscular development. For most of us it is a reasonably accurate measure to start with and can be done at home.

If your BMI calculation shows that you are overweight or obese, speak with your doctor. She may perform other procedures or refer you to a specialist who can perform more precise measurements of your body fat composition.

Methods to determine body fat percentage

Calipers (Anthropometry, or Skin fold Measurements)

Using a caliper, skins folds are measured in 3-7 locations on the body. Sometimes the measurements are taken several times and averaged to get a more accurate number. These numbers are then put into an equation to determine your body fat percentage. Over 3500 equations have been validated for different body types, age, gender, ethnicity etc.

Like the BMI, skin fold measurements are inexpensive to perform. However, their accuracy depends greatly on the skill of the person doing them and the quality and accuracy of the calipers being used.

The Dunk Tank (Hydrodensitometry, or Underwater Weighing)

In this method a person is weighed outside of the tank and then submerged into a tank of water. They are weighed again in the water and their body density is calculated. This process involves total submersion in the water and exhaling to empty the lungs as completely as possible. This is not a comfortable experience for some people. Using standard equations body fat percentage is calculated from these measurements.

Hydrodensitometry is considered one of the “Gold Standards” of body composition hydrodensitometrymeasurement. Done correctly, this method has been shown to be very accurate.

In clinical studies subjects often need to be measured several times and then the results are averaged. There is also the problem of getting all or nearly all air out of the lungs while submerged and keeping the water as still as possible.


The Bod Pod

Bod PodThis is a method that uses air displacement instead of water to measure body composition. You sit inside of the “Bod Pod” for 8-12 minutes and get a variety of measurements. They claim this method is more accurate than the water displacement method.

Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA)

In this measurement technique a 50kHz current is applied through electrodes attached to the hands and bare feet. Impedance is the measure of the opposition to the passage of a current when a voltage is applied.

Water is a good conductor of current so it has low impedance. Fat tissue contains 10-20% water so it has greater impedance than fat-free mass in the body which can be 70-75% water.

The results of these tests are then put into equations to figure body mass. When combined with height and weight measurements and body type it is possible to calculate the percentage of body fat, fat-free mass, hydration level and other composition values.

Since the volume of water in the body is being measured, dehydration can affect the results. In preparation for the test care must be taken to maintain similar levels of hydration over a series of tests. Higher accuracy is achieved if the test is performed several times. Some clinicians use this test to measure the level of hydration in athletes or the chronically ill.

This is a painless, simple test, that is inexpensive to perform and under controlled conditions it can be quite accurate. When it was originally available commercially in the 80’s this method was considered un-reliable. Over the years, equipment developed for the clinical and medical practices have become highly accurate.

In 1992, Tanita, introduced a scale that not only measures your weight but also has BIA technology built in. This scale will automatically measure your weight and impedance and calculate your body fat percentage. Today they have a variety of models that range from home to professional use and can get quite sophisticated.

Tanita has some useful charts on body fat, BMI and the health risks of excess fat on their website. This link will download the pdf file for you.

Sometimes you can find these machines at health clubs or physical therapy offices. The accuracy of this measurement method and device have been questioned.

Near-Infrared Interactance (NIR)

This test uses a fiber optic probe pressed up against the skin. Various sites on the body can be used but typically the bicep is used. Infrared light from the optic probe penetrates the tissues and bounces back off of the bone.

Studies have shown that optical densities are linearly related to subcutaneous and total body fat. The NIR data is entered into an equation with the person’s height, weight, frame size and level of activity, to estimate the body fat percentage.

As with all tests there are variables that can affect the test such as skin color and hydration levels. The amount of pressure from the probe against the skin can also affect results. This is another simple, fast and inexpensive test but more research may be needed.

Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA)

This is a relatively new technology which can measure total body mineral, fat-free mass and fat tissue mass. DXA is based on research that shows bone mineral content is directly proportional to the amount of photon energy absorbed by the bone being studied. DXA is most widely used to diagnose and monitor osteoporosis.

DEXA,dual x-ray This technique has the subject lay still on a table for 10 to 20 minutes. The scan uses two low-dose x-ray beams of different energy levels to measure the entire body in 0.5 cm intervals. This test method has been used and studied extensively and has the ability to show exactly where fat is distributed on the body. Because of this method’s precision with only one measurement, it is becoming the new “gold standard”.

I had a DXA or DEXA scan performed at the Cenegenics Medical Institute in Boston. To learn more about the scan and my experience, check out this post.

Converting BMI to body fat percentage

These other techniques do measure body fat, but they need to be done by a trained professional, may be expensive and can be hard to find. If you have done one of these other methods then you know how many of your total pounds are fat, you know your number.

If you are like me and have only done a BMI calculation there is one more step that you need to take to determine your body fat percentage and how many pounds of fat you are carrying around. At I found a formula to convert BMI to percentage of fat.



Multiply BMI by 1.2


Multiply your age by 0.23


Add results of steps 1 & 2


Subtract 5.4 from this total


This is your body fat percentage


Multiply BMI by 1.2


Multiply your age by 0.23


Add results of steps 1 & 2


Subtract 16.2 from this total


This is your body fat percentage

As an example I will use my numbers.

I am 6’ 1” and as of this morning I weigh about 173lbs and I am 48 years old. According to the BMI calculators on the CDC’s web site my BMI is 22.8

Step 1 22.8 x 1.2 = 27.36

Step 2 48 x .23 = 11.04

Step 3 27.36 + 11.04 = 38.40

Step 4 38.40 – 16.2 = 22.2%

According to these calculations my body is 22.2% fat and I am carrying 38.406 pounds of fat around with me. That seems like a lot of fat, but my BMI is well within the normal range of 18.5 to 24.9, which is based on population averages

No one is claiming that the BMI is the most accurate method to measure body composition. It also stands to reason that the indexes will shift higher over time as the trend of society to grow heavier continues. But it is free and can be done at home with reasonable accuracy.

The scales that we use to weigh ourselves are the most significant variable. The scale in my bathroom is different from the scale at my gym and different from the scale at my doctor’s office. My doctor’s office scale usually has me 10lbs heavier than my bathroom scale. If I use my doctor’s data I am 183lbs and my BMI becomes 24.1. Using the same calculations from, my body fat percentage goes to 23.76. This is still within the normal range.

I use my bathroom scale as the constant. Whatever it’s inaccuracies; they are the same every day. My doctor uses a clinical tool in his office. You are all familiar with the black and chrome weight and height scale in just about every doctor’s office in America. I have to assume that his equipment is more accurate than mine. To monitor your weight it is a good practice to use the same scale each time.

Looking at my numbers, the BMI seems to correlate fairly accurately to my body fat percentage. Using my bathroom scale, my BMI is 22.8 and my body fat percentage is 22.2%, so the correlation is .97. Using my doctor’s scale my BMI is 24.1 and my body fat percentage is 23.76, or a .98 correlation. This may not be accurate enough for science and engineering, but we’re not trying to land on the Moon. We just need a fairly accurate measure of our body fat. Using the other techniques we can gain greater precision.

Why should you care about your number?

Now that you know the different ways to determine your body fat percentage, now what?

Why should you care and is it really that important?

A 2012 report by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics showed that in 2009-2010, 35.7% of all adults 20 years and older were obese. For women 60 years and older the percentage rises to 42.3%. Here is the link to the pdf of the full report.

Obese means a BMI of 30 or higher. If my BMI were 30 my body fat percentage would be 30.84% and I would be carrying around over 56lbs of body fat! That is 13lbs more than my doctor’s scale shows I am currently carrying.

But what does this mean to you? What would a BMI of 30 mean to you? According to the CDC: Research has shown that as weight increases to reach the levels referred to as “overweight” and “obesity,” the risks for the following conditions also increases:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Dyslipidemia (for example, high total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides)
  • Stroke
  • Liver and Gallbladder disease
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
  • Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint)
  • Gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility)
  • · In 2008, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.

According to the American Diabetes Association medical costs for a diabetic are 2.3 times the cost of a person without diabetes. Diabetes causes many chronic diseases that are expensive to treat such as: Heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, nervous system damage and amputations. In 2007 the total cost for diagnosed diabetes was $174 billion.

80% of people with Type II diabetes are overweight or obese. A CDC study showed that people with a BMI of 40 or higher are 7.37 times more likely to be diagnosed with Type II diabetes than those with a normal range BMI. As your BMI increases beyond the normal range your risks for diabetes also increases.

A major factor in getting Type II diabetes is your weight. Type II diabetes increases your risk of the diseases listed above. Your weight and fitness level are within your control for the most part. By increasing your activity level and making moderate dietary changes you may be able to avoid Type II diabetes and the cascade of diseases that result from this condition.

This is why you should be concerned about obesity and your own levels of fitness and body fat. Genetics does play a role in obesity but for most of us it does not condemn us to a lifetime of obesity and illness. Discovering your BMI or body fat percentage is the first step in taking control of your health and your future.

So, whats your number?