Combating Obesity Part 3: Know Yourself
In our last two blog posts, we talked about how a healthy diet and a daily exercise routine can help fight obesity. But what good are these tips if we don’t know how to recognize the disease in the first place?
A key component to battling the obesity epidemic in America is knowing the signs of the disease and knowing when you’re putting yourself at risk. Sometimes, we’re unknowingly in dangerous territory, and we continue to make unhealthy decisions, running us farther down the path of disease.
It’s a good idea to start with a general check-up with your doctor if you haven’t had one in a while, but that does little to help you on a daily basis. After all, you’re not going to see the doctor daily, weekly, or even monthly in all likelihood, so it’s more important to build up your own knowledge base and to invest time in self-evaluation.
One of the first steps to take is to calculate your body mass index (BMI). Your BMI will tell you if you are underweight, at a healthy weight, overweight, or obese. While your BMI may not provide a full, totally accurate diagnosis, it’s generally a good indicator of your current state of health.
Along with this, take a look at your daily routine. Are you up and moving? Are you eating healthy foods? Are you supplementing this with a dedicated exercise routine?
If you aren’t watching what and how much you eat, there’s a strong possibility that the needle of your health gauge is not traveling in a positive direction. Take a moment before each meal and consider its health benefits. Is your lunch taking your health where you want it to go? You have the power to decide, and you directly control what foods you put into your mouth.
Also ask yourself: “How much do I move during an average day?” With modern technology and the increase of work-from-home positions across the nation, many of us are strapped into our computer chairs, toiling away in front of a monitor for hours and hours on end, never stopping to get up, take a stroll, and get the blood pumping through our bodies. This is unhealthy on several levels.
First, sitting for prolonged periods of time has been linked to a variety of health complications, even if you are not obese. However, this sedentary lifestyle also lends itself to obesity, as you’re not adding movement to your daily routine. You could take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to your favorite lunch spot instead of driving, or take a casual stroll during your breaks. If you’re not doing these things, however, you’re not creating the healthiest “you” possible.
So today, take a second and really think about your current state of health. While cholesterol levels, blood-sugar readings and the like are important, focus more on your daily routine. Is it leading you where you want to go, or is it leading you toward health problems and toward obesity?
If you’re not happy with your answer, the good news is that you–and only you–can make a change. The tools are all around, and I’ve detailed at length the various organizations in San Diego and Imperial County that will lend a hand.
When you’re ready to dive in, just jump. We’ll be there to help you swim to the finish line.
-Nancy Sasaki, Executive Director
Allaince Healthcare Foundation
About Alliance Healthcare Foundation
Alliance Healthcare Foundation is a San Diego-based nonprofit which works with nonprofit, government and community agencies to advance health and wellness throughout the San Diego and Imperial Counties. AHF works to serve the most vulnerable – the poor, working poor, children and homeless by providing grants, advocacy and education to support its region.
To learn more about our grantees visit here: AHF’s Grantee Page