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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Almost 150 Billion In Added Health Care Costs Due to Obesity

This is astonishing to think that the health care costs of obesity are that high! This should be a wake up call to not only those in government, but everyone. If we want health care reform it looks quite obvious that we should start where it always pays to start with most things, with ourselves. Changing our habits and/or continuing good habits in order to influence others to make changes. Choices we make in any aspect of our life will impact many others. And this is just another testament to that fact. Keep in mind this is a per year cost......more on this tomorrow...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Beyond Exercise & Healthy Eating

You hear it all the time, typically from those who are "in shape", "all they have to do is eat less and start working out". If it were that easy then most people wouldn't have the weight problems to begin with. New research is suggesting that therapy for emotion based eating is necessary if results are to be had by many who struggle with weight problems. It's just not enough to give someone an exercise plan and diet when the actual problem is rooted in the psychological and emotional realm.

I can attest to this reality as I have seen it in a large number of the 100s of people I have worked with over the past decade. Regardless of the exercise routines, information about food etc. etc. the vast majority are unable to reach and sustain their fitness goals. I'm not saying this to be negative, it's just reality. The reasons for this are many but the first and foremost reason is deep down they themselves don't really want to make the necessary changes for any number of reasons. Oftentimes they are at the gym or seeing me for tacit reasons such as "I know I need to get in shape", "my spouse wanted to join or wants me to do this". They aren't doing it because they really want to themselves. It's by and large paying lip service to working out and eating right. The reason I say this is because actions speak louder than words and when you really get down to it they aren't ready or willing to take those actions. When someone needs to lose 40 lbs and they say they can only workout 3 times a week for maybe an hour they are either very confused and uninformed about what it really takes or they just really don't want to lose those pounds. It's not a high priority despite what they say.

What has to happen in these cases is that someone should be sat down with and the real reasons why they don't exercise enough and have poor eating habits need to be identified. It needs to be a no nonsense conversation that is truthful and doesn't hold anything back. Next the actual specific changes they want to make need to be detailed. This goes much beyond "I want to lose weight". It has to be specific and measurable as in "I want to lose 40 lbs by this coming January 1 and I want my bodyfat to be 20%". Then they need to be told what will be required to make those changes in that time frame. They have to then affirm that they are either willing and able to do what's required or adjust the goal to something more attainable based on their willingness and ability to commit. After this they need to identify strong emotion driving reasons why they want to make the changes needed to achieve this no matter how hard those changes may be. This is the point at which they may decide they aren't really ready to change, which is fine because then they won't waste their time doing something they aren't really totally on board with.

What's next is the part of the equation that most never address and that is their support for what they are doing.....this is an essential component that is ignored most of the time. I will address this next time...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mega-Calories at Your Fingertips

Now that California law requires chain restaurants to put calorie counts on menus, if you're lucky enough to live here, you will be shocked at how many calories are in various foods they serve! All I can say is it's no wonder people are obese. Well over a thousand calories in many if not most entrees and even in the appetizers! You think a soup and salad is healthy, well at TGI Fridays you see that a soup is 500 calories and some of the salads are over 1000 calories. Of course none of this includes drinks which pack in a lot more calories in the form of sugar. If you eat in these restaurants regularly it's no feat at all to be packing in over 2000 calories in one meal. One thing this law does, if you are health conscious is to really limit your selection and keep your food choices in check. This is especially true when you have to really hunt to find things under1000 calories. Take advantage and make better choices. For those outside of CA, be careful, you are eating a lot when you indulge at these chain restaurants. Choose wisely or you will see your waistline grow quickly!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Obesity Rates Not Going Down in America

A new report just issued shows that obesity rates in the United States are on the rise in 23 states and hasn't gone down in any! Hmmm....based on this what do you think may be a good way to reduce the extravagant costs of healthcare in the US without resorting to extremely expensive so called "reform". How about we develop a lifestyle based program focused on prevention through weight loss, proper nutrition, exercise and positive lifestyle changes. Give people incentives to make these changes so they can not only avoid developing costly disease processes at young ages but also become more productive members of society due to improved health. This would help to make people take personal responsibility for their health and thus reduce the burden on the healthcare system which thereby would reduce costs and help now overworked healthcare workers provide better care to those who really need it. It's the whole rabbit and carrot trick. People make changes best when they have some skin the game...and in this case the skin would be in the form of insurance premium and other financial incentives based on lifestyle behaviors. Determine how much savings various healthy behaviors generate for the government and perhaps issue income tax credits based on these savings. This would generate multi-layer benefits as hospitals, government, companies and society as a whole would save significant dollars while the individual would also see there efforts pay off not only in terms of saving money but also in quality of life and improved ability to contribute positively to the betterment of their life, their families life and the lives of others.

People change most when given incentive to do so.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

All You Need is You

With the economy down and your finances tight there's no excuse or need to worry about how you are going to stay in shape.

Why? Because being fit doesn't have to cost a dime. Using just your bodyweight for exercises can provide more than enough variety and challenge to get you in top shape. Just a little creativity coupled with some hard work and watch your body change in no time.

The basics always work the best. Push-Ups, Pull-Ups, Dips and on it goes. For the legs you've got squats, lunges, hip raises, leg lifts and so forth. What's great about these exercises is you can do them anywhere and it won't cost you a lot of time or money.

If you're just starting out Day 1 do 3 sets of 10 of Push-Ups, Pull-Ups and Dips; modified as needed. Then the next day do 3 sets of 10 for squats, lunges and hip raises. This shouldn't take you more than 15 minutes each day and you'll get in great shape doing it!
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