The greatest mistake you can make when looking to get healthy is focusing solely on the number you see on the scale.
While weight can be a good indicator of whether or not you fall in the “normal” range for your age, gender, and height – a more helpful approach may be focusing on your BMI (body mass index), how you’re feeling, and any medical issues you may be experiencing.
FYI: Most household scales don’t take into account excess water weight or muscle mass.
Those extra pounds could be the cause of excess bloating or perhaps you’ve gained some muscle (the good kind of weight gain!) Whatever the case may be, your “number” does not automatically correlate with your health.
Here’s what’s really important:
BMI (Body Mass Index)
This helpful tool helps you evaluate your body mass based on your height and weight. Calculating your BMI can help you better understand where you fall with your health. Find out your BMI by using this standard BMI calculator provided by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Mental & Physical Health
Do you constantly feeling drained, sluggish or feel out of breath from doing simple everyday tasks? Whether you’re considered “skinny” or “overweight”, these signs may be an indicator that you’re not as healthy as you could be.
Ask yourself these three questions:
- Am I getting enough exercise, or physical activity, throughout my day?
- Am I getting enough rest?
- Am I fueling my body with the proper nutrition and fluids?
Our bodies need movement and rest. But did you know that exercise can actually help your body rest better? These two elements go hand-in-hand. In fact, exercise can even help the body feel more awake when you’re feeling tired. It seems kind of counterintuitive, but it works.
Exercise helps get the blood pumping, providing more oxygen and energy to the body, and helps release endorphins (the “feel-good” hormone) which helps the body feel better.
Of course, without the proper nutrition, our bodies won’t have the energy for exercise. Not sure where to start? Ask us your nutrition-related question, here. We’ll do our best to help lead you in the right direction!
Obesity puts you at a much higher risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and many others – even higher if you have a family history of these diseases.
Exercise can help lower blood pressure, help balance out blood sugar levels, build a stronger heart, decrease depression, and better the body’s health overall.
What a Doctor Recommends
Too often, people get a very narrow vision of health as simply what their current weight is. Health is not confined to a single variable like weight. A healthy lifestyle consists of:
- Sleeping more (on average 7-9 hours per day)
- Moving more (a simple goal of 10,000 steps daily)
- Managing stress through meditation, yoga and practicing mindfulness
- Eating more whole foods like whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, lentils, fruits, and vegetables.
By following these 4 steps, we create a balanced, evidence-based, health plan that will lower our risks of diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer, and help us to live a happy, fulfilling life. Weight should not be the goal but an outcome of healthy practices. If we stick to the basics above, the weight will take care of itself.
The response above provided by Dr. Sean Hashmi, Obesity Medicine Specialist and Adult Weight Management Lead for Kaiser Permanente Southern California.
Alternative Ways to Track Progress
Here are some alternative methods to track your progress:
- Having a smaller waist measurement.
- Clothes are fitting better.
- Improved stamina and strength.
- Feeling more confident.
- Improved doctor visits.
We hope these tips help you succeed in a healthy and successful way! Invite a friend to join you at a City Sports Club today.