Obesity is a complex health disorder in which excess weight gain puts an individual at high risk for osteoarthritis and several life-threatening medical conditions. Although the obesity epidemic is currently affecting millions of Americans across the country, each person’s battle with obesity begins right at home with personal lifestyle choices.
Contributors to obesity include:
- Diet including intake of high-calorie foods
- Physical Inactivity
- Genetics (to an extent)
- Some illnesses
- Lack of sleep
- Certain medication use (such as steroids)
Effects of obesity may include (but are not limited to):
- High blood pressure
- Osteoarthritis – breakdown of cartilage between bones
- Difficulty sleeping and breathing problems
- Heart disease
- Depression and social isolation
- Gallbladder disease
- Increased healthcare-related costs
Step-by-step on how to Fight Obesity:
- Drink lots of water! Keep your body hydrated throughout the day.
- Eat right! Fill your diet with whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins; avoid foods with processed sugar and high animal fat content.
- Get active! Even a daily 10-minute walk can help. Challenge yourself by taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Stay active! The Physical Activity Guidelines for America recommends at least 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week to stay heart healthy and to add 2 additional days of strength training.
- Stay motivated! Find friends or family to share your experience with. Weight loss is a marathon not a sprint, losing 1-2 pounds per week is a healthy pace.
**Remember!! Every pound lost is a success! Small amounts of weight loss have been shown to have substantial benefits including reducing knee and hip pain from arthritis, increasing blood flow through the body and heart, and improving overall quality of life!