January is Healthy Weight Awareness Month

Jan. 20, 2020

After indulging ourselves with great food and special treats during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, we find ourselves tipping the scale a bit come January. As much as we all enjoy the good eats and amazing treats, it is important to cut back once the New Year hits and begin shedding the extra weight we have added to our waistband.

How do we get the unwanted weight off?

First, start by figuring out your Body Mass Index (BMI). The National Institutes of Health have a handy BMI calculator tool on their website where you can enter your height and weight and it will automatically calculate your BMI. The BMI chart to check your results against is as follows:

BMI Categories:

  • Underweight = <18.5
  • Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
  • Overweight = 25–29.9
  • Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

If you want to check the BMI for children and teens, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide this BMI calculator on their website to give a more accurate depiction of those who haven’t reached adulthood yet. 

If you find your results falling into overweight, obese, or even the high end of the normal range, you will want to consider taking action by adjusting your diet and becoming more active. Most people cringe over the word exercise and you may hear them say things like: Who has the time to exercise? With my schedule, there is no way I can fit in exercise? By the time my day is finished the last thing I feel like doing is exercising.

If you have ever said things like this before or know of someone who has, try getting them to reconsider by downloading a fitness app to their smartphone. This is a quick and easy way to fit exercise into your day. The apps allow you to customize a workout that fits best into your schedule. Some easy apps to use are: MyFitnessPal which allows you to keep track of your meals and recommended caloric intake along with exercise or try the 7 Minute Workout app which allows you to start out as a beginner and work your way up … spending only 7 minutes a day exercising. This seems like a very doable option for those of you who feel you really don’t have the time to exercise.

It is also important to drink water each day. The recommended amount of daily intake is different for females than males and there are many factors to consider as to what amount is right for your body. Click here for more information about the recommended amount of water consumption for males and females from the Mayo Clinic.

By adopting a more active lifestyle, you can reap the following benefits according to the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps E-Bulletin by LCDR Scott Labrecque:

  • Control weight
  • Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke
  • Reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • Reduce your risk of some cancers
  • Strengthen bones and muscles
  • Improve mental health and mood
  • Increase chances of living longer

As hard as it may seem to fit exercise into your daily routine when you look at the health benefits associated with it, it is worth considering and trying to make it “part of” your routine.

Resources:

CDC

NIH

CDC – BMI Calculator

HHS

Mayo Clinic

Photo by FOODISM360 on Unsplash