Unfortunately, in the United States, to many people are continuing to gain weight and have entered into the realm of OBESITY. Obesity is defined by the National Institutes of Health as having a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30 or more. This correlates to approximately 30 pounds overweight. It is time to address extra weight that has been gained and to fight obesity by making lifestyle changes.
In the United States of America, the obesity rate is mind blowing. In 2010, 35.7% of adults were considered to be obese and 17% of children ages 2-19 were considered obese. Since 1980, obesity among children has TRIPLED! Obesity-related conditions affecting Americans include hear disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis, and even certain types of cancer. Some of these conditions are leading causes of death. (CDC Control and Prevention).
Children who are overweight actually have an 80% higher chance of being obese adults. Believe it or not 19% of children ages 6 through 11 are overweight. (US News, Mat 23, 2012)
Society and the media have made eating and having a healthy lifestyle very difficult for us. It has become very common for families to eat out or run through fast food restaurants multiple times per week making healthy food choices much more difficult. We also have the media causing us, especially pre-teen and teenage girls, to have unrealistic expectations on the way our bodies should look leading an increase in eating disorders. So, what are we to do?
It is time we make life long changes to our daily activities. There are several components to our daily routine that need to exist to have that healthier lifestyle.
- We need to monitor our food intake. The more food we eat, the more calories we are putting into our bodies and consequently the more activity we must do to burn those calories.
Ways we can reduce or caloric intake:
- Get the facts - know what is in your food *
- Limit alcohol
- Use smaller plates
- Order kids-sized portions
- Serve in the kitchen, eat in the dining room
- Eat slowly
- Use plates - do not eat straight out of the package or tray
- Eat plant foods - fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Switch to lower-fat dairy products
- Dull is better - food that is shiny is likely high in calories
- We need to be sure to have an exercise routine that includes cardiovascular workouts, strength training, as well as stretching.
Planning out an exercise routine that includes cardio and strength training as well as stretching can be time consuming. There are many ways to accomplish a regiment like this and but I believe one of the easiest ways is to train in Choi Kwang Do several days per week as Choi Kwang Do covers all of these areas and more.
- We also need to reduce our stress levels so that our bodies don’t produce too much cortisol causing us to retain excess fat.
Reducing stress is very hard for me and I know others feel the same way. Don’t get me wrong, I love taking time for massages, but who can do this daily or even several times per week? Taking some “me” time can reduce stress. Taking mini vacations - getting up from your normal activity just to stretch, clear your head, and regroup can be beneficial. Believe it or not Choi Kwang Do is actually great for reducing stress. Punching and kicking pads or doing defense drills can burn off some of that stressful energy and stretching allows your body to regroup, become better oxygenated, and relaxed.
Making the changes necessary to become healthier requires dedication and perseverance. Doing it alone can prove to be very difficult. Why not start today as a family? Make a commitment together to encourage and support each other on this journey to optimum health. We can change our generation and the generations to come starting today. We CAN do it! Pil Seung!!