• Jennifer McGregor

How to Change Your Lifestyle and Fight Back Against Obesity

In the United States, one-third of adults are classified as obese by the CDC. It's a hot-topic issue, and it's a condition which can have serious consequences. Thankfully, there are a lot of ways you can put yourself on a healthier path.

Choosing Your Workout

Before deciding on the right workout, it's wise to consult your doctor -- especially if you take medication or have mobility limitations. Also be sure to buy any fitness gear that will help ensure your safety, including footwear.

Walking is a great starter workout, and you can begin with only 10 to 15 minutes per day. You can increase the length of your walks gradually and monitor your progress with an activity tracker or pedometer. If mobility or pain proves to be a major issue, consider taking up aqua jogging where you’ll walk in a pool using a buoyancy belt. Additionally, Tai Chi can be beneficial for your overall wellness without causing joint or muscle strain. Starting an exercise routine can be daunting, so invite friends to work out with you or join a group dance class for beginners to help motivate and support you on your health journey.

Home Gyms and Gym Memberships

A home gym can have numerous benefits. For one, it can save you money by cutting out gym fees. Although you'll need to spend some cash on assembling equipment, you can build a budget-friendly gym and save money over the long term. Affordable cardio gear ranges from jump ropes to mini cycles, and for strength training, consider investing in kettlebells, resistance bands, Swiss balls, and free weights.

You may feel less self-conscious if you work out at home, but if you’d rather head to a gym because it motivates you to keep pushing forward, then check out some of the fitness centers in your area. Seniors who are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans sold by private insurance companies may have access to SilverSneakers, a program that allows you to visit select gyms in your area free of charge or other senior-friendly fitness programs. According to CBS News, some insurance companies will provide a 30-percent discount on gym membership fees, so make sure you check out your policy to see if you qualify.

Adopting a Balanced Lifestyle

In addition to working out, take a look at other aspects of your lifestyle. For instance, your sleep quality can impact your weight...so try to get at least seven hours of sleep each night. If you're having issues falling or staying asleep, try removing devices like tablets and smartphones from your bedroom and always keep it cool and dark when it’s time to hit the hay.

When it comes to eating, meal planning can be really helpful. This activity doesn't require you to cut out flavorful food or get caught up in trendy diets. Instead, meal prepping focuses on portion control and a steady flow of healthy meals throughout the day which will satiate your hunger (but keep you from overeating).

Of course, what you’re eating is still important. As a first step, avoid fast food and meals high in artificial sugar, fat, and sodium, and introduce more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein into your diet. Once you’ve made healthy eating a habit, you can take on more advanced topics that can help you achieve optimum results. A great example of a more advanced topic is learning about gut health. In addition to keeping you lean, incorporating prebiotics into your diet can help combat physical and mental sluggishness. You can do this with foods like bananas, onions, and garlic, as well as supplements.

Mental Health

Confronting mental health issues can be pivotal in the battle against obesity. Our physical and mental health impact each other, and mood disorders can seriously affect weight. Body confidence issues can also be detrimental to a healthy lifestyle, while stress and negative emotions can lead to emotional eating. One way to curtail this damaging pattern is to be proactive in combating triggers that may cause you to eat mindlessly.

Dealing with obesity and mental health can feel like an endless cycle. There's no easy solution and you won’t feel better overnight, but therapy, stress management, and meditation are some of the tools that may give you the foundation to practice a healthy lifestyle while also improving your general well-being.

Overall, there are many factors that contribute to your total health. It's not always an easy journey, but if you’re overweight it is critical to take small, meaningful steps to lose weight.

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

#healthinformation #obesity #prebiotics #TaiChi #homegymideas #healthyhabits #healthylifestyle #sleepstudy #mentalhealth #mealplanning

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