Statistics Canada reported in 2015 that 1 in 4 adult Canadians were obese. The World Health Organization defines an adult who has a BMI (Body Mass Index) between 25 and 29 as overweight. An adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. A BMI between 18.5 to 24.9 is a healthy weight and a BMI below 18.5 is considered underweight. Excess weight on our body can lead to numerous health issues such as; type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer and gallbladder disease. These health consequences can vary considerably between individuals, with men and middle aged individuals having a higher rate of obesity. Extra weight on our bodies also means that our joints take on a heavier load. Pain in the knees, back and hips are usually common in obese people as the excess body weight puts pressure on the joints. The pain can range from being mild to so severe that it hampers daily activities, such as making it difficult to walk. This could also lead to Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis. A recent study published in the Medical journal Arthritis Care and Research stated that if those who are overweight or obese lose 20 percent of their body weight it could result in a 25 percent reduction in pain. Researchers also found that the greater reduction in weight, the greater the chances for improved mobility in those areas. So what are some simple ways we can lose weight? We lose weight by reducing the amount of calories into the body and by expending more calories than we take in. Some tips for taking in less calories: • Have meals on smaller plates, this helps fool the body into thinking we are getting more than we are. • Reduce the amount of processed, sugary foods as they tend to be higher in calories and fat. • Include more vegetables and fruit to your diet, not only are they loaded with essential nutrients our bodies need but they are low in calories. In a time where so many people sit for long periods of time movement is very important. In Chinese Medicine there is a saying; “If there is free flow, there is no pain. If there is no free flow, there is pain.” When we move, we get the blood pumping and moving through the vessels and body, which is vital for delivering nutrients. It helps work our most important muscle, the heart. It also helps lubricates the joints through the synovial membrane. Tips to help increase your daily movement: • Set aside time everyday to do some physical activity • Consider walking or cycling for short trips • Park at the back of the parking lot, take the stairs instead of the elevator. The health benefits of exercise includes, but is not limited to, feeling strong, more energized, better mood and better sleep.
This was published in MyKawartha June 28, 2018 https://www.mykawartha.com/opinion-story/8701523-lose-weight-lose-pain/