There are any number of chronic conditions obesity has been linked to including diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, high cholesterol, hypertension and heart disease, some cancers and even mental health conditions like depression, to name a few. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the rates of obesity amongst children, adolescents and adults is the highest it has been in decades and continues to rise on an annual basis. The estimated cost of dealing with the nation’s obesity is approximately $100 billion dollars each year. However, there are steps individuals can take to reduce his or her overall risk because of obesity and achieve a healthier way of living.
Diet is one of the primary ways individuals can begin or continue to have a healthier lifestyle. Eating well-balanced and nutritious meals is the way to achieve it. If you are not an individual prone to eating these kinds of meals, then this is the time to start. Snack foods that are high in calories, saturated fats, and carbohydrates can be replaced with vegetables and fruit, on hand, and readily available. In addition, everyone is encouraged to drink eight 8 ounce glasses of water every day. Low calorie flavored drinks, fruit juices and sports drinks are also a good option to higher calorie drinks like soda and alcohol. It is recommended that adults eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day, and children should eat as many as five servings daily. Another recommendation is to eat when you are hungry, not according to a preset schedule. Doing so will help your respond to your bodies need for food versus responding to a food craving.
Exercise is another component that will help individuals secure or maintain a healthier lifestyle. Exercise is any activity above and beyond what is normally required to execute the daily tasks of everyday living. Exercise does not have to be something long and drawn out that you eventually begrudge doing because it is inconvenient. Exercise or increased physical activity can be built into the schedule you are already maintaining. Experts suggest that between 10 and 15 minute of increased activity today makes a big difference. Walking around the block before going into the house when you pull into the garage, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator may not seem like much, but over time, these activities add up.
Education is a component of gaining or maintaining a healthier lifestyle that many people overlook. Although there is a constant barrage of information on the television, over the internet, in the news, and through every other media source, nothing beats genuine information from reputable sources. Health education programs and community based programs offer a variety of well researched and empirically tested information that has a proven track record of success. Other comprehensive and noteworthy information can be secured from the Internet; however, it is important that information be secured from a site that is reputable or associated with a health industry or company you know and trust.
Whatever your current diet, level of activity, or knowledge base, it is never too late to make the necessary changes to ensure a healthier lifestyle.