Tips on Living Better, Longer

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Another one of those studies was recently conducted. You know, the same one that seems to come out every year talking about how fat Americans are becoming. The prediction is that by 2030, over 40% of all Americans will fall into the category of obese. The study also says that over 10% will be “severely obese,” which means 100 or more pounds overweight. What are we doing to ourselves?

The article states, “Extra weight takes a significant toll on health. It increases the risks of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, many types of cancer, sleep apnea and other debilitating and chronic illnesses.” This is not new news. This is stuff that most of us know yet we keep saying, “Super size that, please.” Over the next two blogs, I want to offer a few tips on making some lifestyle changes that will benefit us, both now, and in the future.

1. Become a more active person. I have written elsewhere about starting an exercise program and what to look for in a gym. I will not rehash that material here. I think that one of the keys to fighting obesity, though, and enjoying a better quality of life is to become more active. Most of us have a very sedentary lifestyle. We sit in front of a computer all day and then sit in front of the television all evening. You might never join a gym or train for a marathon. But if you could get into the habit of taking a brisk walk a few times a week, you would be well on your way to making a siginificant change in your life. Walk with a friend or listen to an audio book while you are walkng. Make it something that you look forward to. This is a small step, but it is moving you (literally) in the right direction.

2. Put the cookie down! Sweets are my weakness. They actually seem to be the weakness for many Americans since we spend over five billion dollars a year on candy. Whether our weakness is sweets, soft drinks, fast food, etc, we are killing ourselves by what and by how much we are eating. What are some ways that you can improve your diet? It might be taking your lunch to work instead of going out for fast food everyday. You might start by eliminating soft drinks from your diet. Again, this is a small shift, but eliminating soft drinks would significantly reduce your caloric intake. This means that you are probably going to drop a few pounds just from that change. Changing your diet is one of the most important things that we can do to develop a healthy lifestyle.

3. Become friends with your doctor or at least visit him once a year. A yearly physical exam is vital for someone who wants have a long life. Modern medicine is amazing. So many medical conditions can be dealt with and treated if caught early enough. A few years ago, at my yearly physical, the doctor noted that my cholesterol was elevated. He reccomended changing my diet in a few areas. He also reccomended exercise but I was already working out four days a week. When changing my diet did not have any affect on the high cholesterol, the doc prescribed a pill that has done a great job keeping it down.

To be continued…

What is one thing that you could change that would significantly increase your quality of life and make you feel better about yourself?

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