Due to lifestyles, laziness or employment, many of us don’t eat well or get the exercise we should. Some people may not care, but poor diet and lack of exercise are almost ready to overtake smoking as the number one cause of preventable deaths.
The more weight our bodies carry the more stress there is on our joints, muscles and spines. Each additional 10 pounds equates 50 pounds of pressure to the knees and 100 pounds of pressure to our backs. There is also a direct correlation between proper weight and abnormal stress to the spine and posture. Obesity and inactivity affects internal health manifesting in heart problems, diabetes, reduced flexibility and ranges of motion.
Tumors, Water Retention, Unhealthy Thyroid
There are other situations that can cause weight gain like tumors and water retention. In some cases your thyroid, an organ in your neck, could be unhealthy and sending the wrong information to your body. It is part of the Endocrine System, which is responsible for releasing the right amount of hormones to specific organs in your body to regulate mood, growth and metabolism.
Conditions like Hypothyroidism, in which your thyroid is functioning less than optimally, will slow your metabolism regardless of any exercise you do to try and raise it. Another example of an endocrine disorder would be Cushing’s Syndrome. In this disease the body releases far too much cortisol, which encourages the storage of fat within the body.
If you have any health concerns, or can’t lose weight on your own, your medical doctor can order some blood work and run tests. Lab work will help identify or further confirm your condition. Tests also help your doctor determine how to treat your condition and establish treatment, supplements, medications or therapy that may help you.
Using Sweets as a Reward?
Sometimes we reward our kids with sweets when they do something well. “Finish your Brussels sprouts and you can have dessert.” If I got As on my report card we went for a hot fudge sundae. The technique works.
Sometimes we even reward ourselves as adults if we’ve worked hard or have been under stress. A nice brownie or ice cream cone makes the day better. Those calories can add up. This type of reward may have some consequences to your well being so choose wisely and make healthy choices.
My colleague Mark comically postulated the reason people get heavier as they age is because they have higher paying jobs and can afford to buy more food. There could be a slight bit of truth to that but I thought it was pretty funny when he said it.
“You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.”
– Kahlil Gibran
Teach Your Children Well
Parents can lead by example. Maybe it’s time you got off the couch too. Don’t just come home and spend the evening on the couch in front of the idiot box. Interact with the family, work on a project or shoot some baskets with the kids.
Don’t let your children play games on the TV or computer for four hours a day. Make sure they are involved with something active. Limit their time with electronics and enrich their life with outdoor activities and sports.
As a kid we used to ride our bikes around a 4.5 mile block that would give the Tour de France riders a run for their money. And we survived without helmets.
The Times Have Changed...
Times have changed. Now you need protection and have to worry someone is going to grab your kid. What have we become? Anyway, next time you buy gifts for a child make sure they are geared toward exercise like a Nerf football, Frisbee, rocket set, or kickball.
There are however some new computer games that really are interactive. Decathlons in which you have to do all of the events, baseball and golf games that require you to swing to hit the ball, or dance revolution, which can all burn some calories as you test your footwork on the dance floor. They’re also a lot of fun for people of all ages.
I just played boxing with my nephews and after a few rounds I was a sweaty mess. I almost called 911. If everyone started boxing like that they could lose weight and have fun with the family at the same time. You might even claim the Heavyweight Championship. Are you ready to rumble?
Putting Healthy Foods on the Table
Kids often eat what we feed them; well, after their picky years. If we put unhealthy foods on the table or in the pantry, then there’s a good chance it will be eaten. And, probably not in the intended serving size.
Teach your children about good nutrition and portions. Just like anything else you teach them, they will make healthier decisions.
Reprinted with permission of the author.
©2011. All Rights Reserved. www.BAYBBook.com
This article was adapted with permission from the book:
Back At Your Best: Balancing the Demands of Life with the Needs of Your Body
by Dr. Jay M. Lipoff.
“Do You Want To Feel Your Best?” Alleviate back pains, maintain a healthy weight, and feel better and stronger at any age, with simple changes to your normal routine. Here is your easy to follow guide for everything from quality sleep, ending headaches, smarter eating and nutrition, better posture, proper stretching and exercise, and much more. Isn’t it time you were Back At Your Best?!
About the Author
Dr. Jay M. Lipoff is a chiropractor, certified fitness trainer, educator, and nationally recognized expert in spinal injury prevention. He is author of Back at Your Best: Balancing the Demands of Life with the Needs of Your Body). He is an executive board member of the ICA Council on Fitness and Sports Health Science, and hosts a radio segment on Mix 96.1 WVLF-FM on Fridays at 8:20 AM called "Back at Your Best in 5 Minutes or Less." Visit his website at http://www.backatyourbest.com