Though the phrase, "You are what you eat" may seem a bit outdated, it still rings true to this day. Being aware of what we consume, how much, and the ways in which good nutrition contributes to overall wellness is vital. The statistics in the U.S. are sobering: More than one third of adults and nearly 20% of the nation's children and adolescents are considered obese — and the percentages rise each year. Obesity is widely considered a health crisis, both in the U.S. and in other countries around the world.
Not only is obesity a risk to physical health, but it also affects energy, productivity, mood, self-image and mental health, and the lifestyles of millions of Americans. Being obese or overweight contributes to serious illness, chronic disease, and the escalating cost of medical care. What is more concerning is that some conditions that were formerly considered "diseases of aging" are now being increasingly diagnosed in younger people, including stroke, heart attack, and Type 2 diabetes.
Healthy habits begin early, but it's never too late to change habits that are detrimental to your health. The key is to understand the relationship between food, exercise, energy, happiness, and lasting well-being. It's this holistic approach to health that characterizes the best treatment plans and leads patients to lasting wellness.
Learning How and What to Eat
The big picture of proper nutrition is much more than a specific diet. It's the total relationship between food, exercise, happiness, and health that is vital. The building blocks toward a healthy lifestyle may be simple, but they involve knowledge and commitment. If you've been a fad dieter or a weekend exercise enthusiast to no avail, you might want to explore other ways to reach your goals.
Proper nutrition includes making wise choices from the basic food groups. It assumes that you will eat when you're hungry and stop eating when full. It means that you learn to view food not as the enemy, but rather as a means to a better life. How you think about food extends to how you think about exercise, how you approach your work, your leisure time, and your life in general. It's an approach that leads to balance, to a healthier lifestyle and, ultimately, to lasting wellness — integrating the mind, body, and spirit.
Small changes can make a big difference. Tips on how to eat better for health are available from the President's Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition. It may be that you don't have to change your diet drastically, but simply learn to eat slowly, enjoy your food more, and control portion sizes. If, however, drastic weight loss is your goal, it is vital to learn and practice the nutritional principles that ensure good health and seek the proper professional advice and support along the way.
An Integrated Approach to Wellness
Combining better eating habits with a realistic exercise program can not only change the way you look and feel, but it can also lessen your chance of developing major medical problems. In some cases, losing weight allows patients to increase their mobility and participate in activities they previously thought impossible. If you're not as fit and healthy as you'd like to be, if you have extra pounds to lose, or if you experience medical symptoms that concern you, the trained and caring medical professionals at Legacy Medical Centers are here to help.
Our practice is built on mutual trust, and we employ a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach, developing individualized treatment programs for all patients. Whether you suffer from chronic pain, need help and therapy to recover from a sports or work-related injury, or are interested in taking a more active role in your own health and happiness, we have the staff and the resources to assist you. For more information on our wellness services — conveniently offered at all of our locations — contact Legacy Medical Centers today!