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The obesity epidemic in America is real. Roughly 36.5 percent of adults and 17 percent of youth (ages 2-19) are obese, and about 65 percent of all Americans are overweight. While the numbers are rising by the year for a variety of reasons, there are matters that can be addressed and everyday changes that can be implemented to help you fight obesity and start living healthy. Here are a few things to consider if you want to win back your health from obesity.
Find a workout you enjoy
There are many benefits to exercising if you’re obese, such as losing weight, improving your health and boosting your self-image and mood, to name a few. The first thing you want to do when creating your new fitness routine is consult your doctor about any limitations, modifications or special procedures to consider. You’ll also want to make sure you have the apparel, footwear, and equipment you need to perform your workouts.
The good news is that there are as many workouts to choose from as there are benefits to enjoy. Some of the best workouts for overweight people are walking, strength training and cycling on a recumbent bike or portable peddler. Also, joining a group exercise class is a great way to build a social support system.
Another thing to consider is using techniques to track your progress that don’t involve a scale. Watching how your clothes fit, before and after photos and keeping a progress journal are all useful ways to keep up-to-date with your transformation. You’ll notice better mobility, more strength and endurance, less stress and more restful sleep.
Get to sleep
Another important part of getting healthier is to make sure you get plenty of rest. You should first address any sleep disorders you may have. A common disorder for obese people is sleep apnea, which can be corrected by a CPAP. Once your breathing improves and sleep comes more easily, the motivation to lose weight often follows. There are other things you can do to lose weight and improve your sleep. As with everything, exercise helps with both. Also, you should evaluate your sleep schedule: How many hours are you getting per night? How many should you get? Do you need to adjust your schedule?
Eat a balanced diet
Diet is crucial, and informing yourself is the first step to eating healthier. When you’re trying to lose weight, calories are a big deal. Calories are used to measure energy, and when your calorie intake is higher than necessary, the extra energy is stored as body fat. There are countless diets out there, but experts agree that a diet that is low in fat, sodium and processed sugar is generally the best strategy for healthy weight-loss. One of the most essential steps in eating healthy is to eat proper portions. Pay attention to what the nutritional facts on the label constitute as a serving and plan accordingly. Eating smaller portions more often throughout the day is also an effective way to plan your meals.
Address mental health disorders
Obesity can be especially harmful for people with mental illness. Higher risks of diabetes and cardiovascular disease come with obesity, and people with mental health issues are believed to die from these conditions up to 25 years earlier than those without mental health issues. If you are in this situation, consider making a plan with multiple professionals. For instance, a physician can help you with diet and exercise, and a psychologist can assist with any stress, depression, or other emotional experiences that have contributed to your weight gain.
Though obesity rates are soaring in the U.S., there are changes you can make to your everyday life that will help you lose weight and leave you feeling healthy, sound and confident. Remember to find a workout routine you enjoy, acknowledge any sleep disorders and examine your sleep schedule, eat a balanced diet and address any mental health disorders. Most importantly, you’re not alone and have the power to overcome obesity.
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