Healthy Lifestyle Choices Are A Lifelong Commitment
Maintaining a healthy weight is not a quick fix.
This week's wellness focus was on biometrics (the data from a health risk assessment) and chronic diseases caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices.
Chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. These diseases account for well over half of American deaths and affect the quality of life of almost 100 million Americans. Many chronic diseases are also preventable because they are linked to lifestyle choices, and those are the ones we will focus on this week.
Both the Hill and Howe families received detailed information about cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, body fat percentage and bone density. For each of these, they received information on what a healthy level is like, what happens to the body when levels are not in a healthy range, and how to reach for healthy levels.
For example, measuring waist circumference helps screen for possible health risks that are associated with overweight and obesity. If your midsection is larger around your waist rather than at your hips, you may have a higher risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
This risk goes up with a waist circumference that is greater than 35 inches for women or greater than 40 inches for men. To correctly measure your waist, stand and place a tape measure around your middle, just above your hipbones, around the same level as your belly button. Measure your waist just after you breathe out.
The primary behaviors which cause obesity are physical inactivity and an unhealthy diet. Maintaining a healthy weight is not a "quick fix" and has to be a lifelong commitment to healthy dietary habits and regular exercise. Even a modest amount of weight loss over the longterm can improve a person's health and lower their disease risk. The chances of longterm, successful weight loss are greatly enhanced if those at high risk work with a team of professionals, similar to the Fit Family Challenge team of experts.
Questions for this week:
- Do you know what your biometric numbers are and if they are in a healthy range?
- What activities can you do starting this week to maintain a healthy weight?
Maureen Carlomagno is the founder of Your Wellness Coach, which offers a variety of work/life balance services to the community. She teaches classes on managing stress, personal health lifestyle assessments, and work life balance seminars. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, and participating in local wellness events. Carlomagno is excited to mentor the Howe and Hill Spotlight Families for the Fit Family Challenge.