Wellness-Focused Actions to Help Fight Obesity
It’s well known that the country is going through an obesity epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one third of the adult population is obese. Unhealthy weight can cause a domino effect of physical problems, from diabetes to heart disease and muscle, bone and joint disorders. In addition to the personal health ramifications of obesity, the epidemic overburdens our healthcare system with an estimated $147 billion annual medical price tag.
Although fighting obesity is a challenge that is by no means easy, the actual plan of attack is fairly easy to understand. Healthy weight results from a lifestyle that embraces physical activity and relies on healthy food as fuel for life, not as a source of comfort. In simple terms, to avoid obesity or reverse it, individuals should exercise more and eat less. Let’s look at these two simple components, and how other factors can help support a healthy relationship with exercise and food.
Add activity to your life, no matter what diet you follow
Daily activity is important for maintaining a healthy weight. Activity is key – not necessarily traditional exercise. Exercise is too often thought of as a temporary process to endure to lose 10 pounds or get ready for that 5k race next month. Those who walk daily are much less likely to be obese. Fast-paced walking is a highly effective weight loss tool. And, it’s easy to do every day. It is an enjoyable activity and can have a pleasant social component, as well.
Another simple way to add activity in your life is by setting up a modest home gym. Many people join a gym only to never go, finding numerous excuses for why it’s too far or otherwise inconvenient. If you’re a senior, working out at home can be ideal if inclement weather keeps you from heading outside. You’ll continue to improve your mobility, balance, and overall health just as effectively with at-home workouts. Here are some cheap ideas for setting up your home gym:
- Hook up your TV. Pick a few exercise videos and fitness apps to follow along with on your TV. Even Wii games can help you get and stay in shape.
- Buy basics. Light weights are relatively cheap; grab one or two to use for upper body strength exercises. Resistance bands are inexpensive ways to tap into core muscles and crank up your fat burning.
- See what you already have. Use an old rope for a jump rope. Do dips on a folding chair.
- Make the space comfortable. Yoga mats are cheap, as are swiss balls. With them, you’ll be able to do inclined pushups and situps with ease.
Balance your diet and limit calories
No exercise alone will erase the effects of a poor diet. In order to lose weight, you must create a calorie deficiency. Eating wisely makes your exercise more efficient. Dieticians and medical professionals suggest eating a balanced diet high in plant-based foods, but that also incorporates limited complex carbohydrates and quality protein. Plant-based foods are low in calories and high in vitamins and fiber. Your choices are much more varied than just salad, though. Try roasting hearty veggies, such as sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage, and adding them to salads and modest amounts of rice or pasta.
Overall, reducing the amount of calories in your diet is an effective strategy but so, too, is limiting the time when you eat. Intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce obesity. Intermittent fasting involves restricting eating for a portion of the day, such as 12-18 hours. Another program that leverages the power of intermittent fasting is Lipotrim, which offers pharmacist-administered meal replacement plans that restrict calories.
Neither diet nor exercise alone can support a healthy lifestyle. In order to be effective, diet and exercise must combine into a sustainable change. Other actions can help support a healthy lifestyle, such as ensuring that you get enough rest and tending to emotional well being.
Through a healthy balance of exercise and calorie restriction, your relationship with food and your body will change. Snacking will be seen as unnecessary, and your fitness will drive other healthy choices in life.
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