Millions of Americans, and people around the world, are considered to be overweight or obese. The terms “overweight” and “obese” are used in regard to body weight that is greater than what is considered healthy, per an individuals’ height. Your weight can be the result of many factors. These factors include environment, family history and genetics, metabolism (the way your body changes food and oxygen into energy), behavior, lifestyle, etc. The more overweight a person is the more likely they are to develop:
- Coronary Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Type II Diabetes
- Breathing Problems
- Certain Cancers
Obesity also can lead to heart failure. This is a serious condition in which your heart can’t pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs.
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it can damage the body in many ways. Your chances of having high blood pressure greatly increase if you’re overweight or obese.
Being obese can lead to a buildup of plaque in your arteries. Eventually, an area of plaque can rupture, causing a blood clot to form. If the clot is close to your brain, it can block the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain and cause a stroke.
Osteoarthritis is a common joint problem of the knees, hips, lumbar spine (low back). The condition occurs if the tissue that protects the joints wears away. Extra weight can put more pressure and wear on joints, causing pain.
Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. A person who has sleep apnea may have increased fat stored around the neck. This can narrow the airway, making it hard to breathe.
The most common way to find out whether you’re overweight or obese is to figure out your body mass index (BMI). BMI is an estimate of body fat, and it’s a good gauge of your risk for diseases that occur with more body fat.
Successful weight-loss treatments include setting goals and making lifestyle changes, such as eating fewer calories and being physically active. Setting realistic weight-loss goals is an important first step to losing weight. Try to lose 5 to 10 percent of your current weight over 6 months. This will lower your risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) and other conditions.
If your child is overweight, the goal is to maintain his or her current weight and to focus on eating healthy and being physically active. This should be part of a family effort to make lifestyle changes. If your child is overweight and has a health condition related to being overweight, your doctor may refer you to a pediatric obesity treatment center.
Lifestyle changes can help you and your family achieve long-term weight-loss success. Example of lifestyle changes include:
- Focusing on balancing consumption of calories and performance of physical activity
- Following a healthy eating plan
- Learning how to adopt healthy lifestyle habits
Over time, these changes will become part of your everyday life.
Being physically active and eating fewer calories will help you lose weight and keep weight off over time. Physical activity also will benefit you in other ways as well:
- Lowers your risk for heart disease, heart attack, diabetes, and cancers
- Strengthens your heart and helps your lungs work better
- Strengthens your muscles and keep your joints in good condition
- Slows down bone loss
- Gives you more energy
- Helps you relax and better cope with stress
- Allows you to fall asleep more quickly and sleep more soundly
- Allows you to spend quality time with friends and family
The four main types of physical activity are aerobic, muscle-strengthening, bone strengthening, and stretching. You can do physical activity with light, moderate, or vigorous intensity. The level of intensity depends on how hard you have to work to do the activity.
Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is a long-term challenge for people who are overweight or obese. But it also is a chance to lower your risk for other serious health conditions. With the right treatment and motivation, it’s possible to lose weight and lower your long-term disease risk.
We offer a great weight loss program at Hohman Rehab that not only helps you lose the weight, but also teaches you how to maintain and healthy lifestyle and keep the weight off. We see clients in the Clermont 34711 area, as well as surrounding Lake County.