Women’s Health

 Healthy Weight Awareness

 

So, it’s January. Here you are, surrounded by commercials for weight loss programs and regretting the Christmas cookies and other holiday treats. And, like every January, you wonder how long it will take to undo the damage and you once again resolve to lose weight this year.

January is Healthy Weight Awareness Month. Instead of focusing on the holiday eating just past, it is a good time to focus on a healthy long term plan to achieve and maintain a healthy weight all year round.

If you’re currently at a healthy weight, you’re already one step ahead of the game. To stay at a healthy weight, it’s worth doing a little planning now.

Or maybe you are overweight but aren’t ready to lose weight yet. If this is the case, preventing further weight gain is a worthy goal.

Healthy weight is about creating a lifestyle that includes healthy eating and regular physical activity.  It’s about maintain a balance between the number of calories you consume and the number of calories your body uses. Each person’s body may have different needs for calories and exercise.

As people age, their body composition gradually shifts — the proportion of muscle decreases and the proportion of fat increases. This shift slows their metabolism, making it easier to gain weight. In addition, some people become less physically active as they get older, increasing the risk of weight gain.

The good news is that weight gain can be prevented by choosing a lifestyle that includes good eating habits and daily physical activity. By avoiding weight gain, you avoid higher risks of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, and some forms of cancer.

Exercise is equally important to managing your food intake. Here are some recommended physical activity levels:

  • For adults, 2 hours and 30 minutes every week (about 22 minutes each day or 50 minutes 3 times per week), of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as brisk walking and muscle-strengthening exercise on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).
  • Increase the intensity or the amount of time that you are physically active to improve health benefits and control body weight.

In assessing your weight, a good measure is your BMI –Body Mass Index. This is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. It applies to adult men and women. To discover your BMI, click on the BMI Calculator to link to a tool that will provide you that information.

There are a number of online tools available to assist you in tracking your food intake and exercise. Three of these are:

My Fitness Pal: www.myfitnesspal.com

Lose it: https://www.loseit.com/

My Plate Plan: https://www.choosemyplate.gov/resources/MyPlatePlan

It’s a New Year- take care of yourself!


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