A recent study suggests that the average person has gained anywhere from 29-41 lbs. since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Reports show that 61% of adults have experienced unwanted weight gain since March of 2020. For many, it is no surprise that this is the result of stay-at-home orders, limited exercise opportunities, and rising emotional distress.
Obesity and diabetes exist in tandem. Diabetic and prediabetic cases will continue to rise in America until there is a level of personal responsibility and empowerment regarding physical health. Evidence shows that ‘10% of Americans have diabetes and 90 million are prediabetic, and 70% of the 90 million will become diabetic over the next ten years.’ These staggering numbers should improve through educated choices regarding health.
There is a clear link between obesity and COVID-19. Obesity puts individuals at higher risk for contracting COVID-19 and worsens the symptoms and outcome. In obese individuals, the compromised immune function creates a much higher risk that can triple the disease’s impact. Additionally, the extended recovery period for obese individuals makes it more challenging to bring the body back to a functioning state. There is also a greater likelihood for hospitalization and need for intensive care than in patients who are not obese. Due to decreased lung function, obese individuals are also harder to treat when ventilators are required. Severe and fatal COVID-19 cases would be much lower if it were not for the obesity epidemic.
The number of those suffering from metabolic conditions is increasing. Metabolism is the process of how your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. Poor metabolic function is linked to an inefficient immune system, poor sleep, irregular digestion, skin irritation, mood instability, foggy memory, poor cardiovascular health, and a higher risk of chronic disease and illness.
The factors that manage metabolic health are sleep, exercise, and nutrition. These three things alone can keep the mind and body happy and healthy. The formula is simple. Manage your diet with healthy whole foods, exercise regularly, and get adequate and consistent sleep.
Today, there are a handful of supportive tools, systems, and resources to track sleep, calories, and diet metrics. These are a great start to establishing an active and healthy lifestyle. The key to using these tools and apps is understanding how they function and consistently using them until you have found routine within yourself.
Unfortunately, it takes a scary diagnosis, an expensive medical bill, or an immediate disruption in lifestyle to make healthy changes for many. It is easy to complain about how difficult it is to find time to work out or prepare a healthy meal. These everyday tasks are not challenging. Losing a parent or a child is hard. Divorce is hard. Moving is hard. Taking care of yourself is not hard but living with diabetes or obesity is.
Despite the challenges that may arise, it is essential to note the personal responsibility you have to create a healthier lifestyle. Today, hundreds of support systems from apps to calorie trackers to clubs actively promote better health. There are no excuses.
Here are some suggestions for losing weight and taking back your optimal health:
Get Active Again
Feeling stronger and healthier motivates positive change. Feeling better in your body is the fuel to show up again and again. Inspiration leads to habit, habit creates a routine, and the routine creates a lifestyle that becomes part of who you are. Get off the couch and get moving! It is so easy to find workouts online. Watch a YouTube video and follow along. Make it a challenge for yourself!
A morning or afternoon walk is a fantastic start to regaining better health. It is also a great way to clear your mind and increase oxygen flow to your whole body. Walking is a gentle and sustainable way to get active again. Try a few bodyweight squats, lunges, push-up variations, or planks throughout the day. Hire a personal trainer to hold yourself accountable. Trainers act as a commitment device so that you have no choice but to work out. Sign up for a pricier gym so that you will be motivated to go. Invest in home gym equipment so that you can work out throughout the day.
Cooking at Home
We have all heard the phrase, “we have food at home,” right? Stop picking up fast food and take control. The best way to know what you are eating is to be there and in control of what you feed your body. Increase awareness of how much oil you are using, portion size, and the ingredients you choose. Cut your calories down if you are struggling to lose weight. Health coaches recommend cooking with six ingredients or less for maximal digestion and absorption.
One of the most effective ways to lose weight is to get adequate sleep. Rest enables you to feel more energized and prevents overeating. If you sleep poorly, your body will release stress hormones and generate inflammation that leads to sugar cravings and insulin resistance, contributing to poor metabolic function.
The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply affected us all in more than one way. Taking care of your physical health is one of the best things you can do for yourself and those around you. When you take care of your body, you avoid ailments more effectively by strengthening the body against foreign invaders. The only thing we have control over is what we do. Ideally, if you want to avoid feeling ill and experiencing setbacks, you need to make habitual changes to your overall well-being. Small changes in your health lead to remarkable changes in your longevity. Do yourself the honor and respect of establishing a sense of discipline and create a healthy lifestyle for yourself.
Information provided by Arootah is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should consult your physician or other licensed health care professional before starting any diet, exercise plan or regimen, or any other fitness or wellness program. This is particularly true if you or your family have a history of high blood pressure or heart disease, or if you have ever experienced discomfort while exercising. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information made available through our Programs and Services.