CATCH Healthy Habits volunteer Evelyn Gillespie gets active!
It used to be that body weight was a personal matter … no one’s business but your own.
Lately, however, it seems that weight is everyone’s business. You can’t watch a news program or visit a media website without seeing something on what has become our nation’s biggest health problem – obesity.
Obesity rates for adults have doubled just in the last 30 years. Today 70 percent of Americans are overweight and 35% are obese, driving up the incidence of chronic disease. And the obesity rate has tripled for children in that time.
Evolution? Or are we just eating more and playing less? The obesity epidemic is a perfect storm – look at the conditions: There are more homes with two parents who work and have less time to worry about fixing a healthy meal. Fast food, processed and packaged food, often high in fat and the least healthy, has become a staple of Americans. People out of work or on a fixed income often can’t afford to shop for healthy meal choices and rely on fast food because it’s cheaper. Children no longer go outside to play but are planted on the couch in front of a television or a computer game. All of these conditions combined have created a society that’s literally expanding in size … and one that will need equally large wallets to handle the growing healthcare costs associated with obesity.
How do we reverse the process? It means changing the way we live, work and play. All of us – as individuals and organizations – can help with the journey. Here are five things you and your friends and family can do right now to get and stay healthy, and prevent obesity:
- Get active! ”Never Too Old to Play!” is the theme for Older Americans Month. Exercise doesn’t have to be a burden; just getting out and doing the things you love, whether it’s walking, riding your bike, taking an OASIS yoga class, or playing games with your grandchildren. Make physical activity a part of your daily routine.
- Reach for water instead of soda or sugary drinks. You’ll be surprised how many calories you’ll cut just by doing that.
- Focus on portion control. Structure your meals and monitor calorie intake.
- Be mindful of what you’re eating. It’s not just about how much, but the kinds of food you eat. Add more healthy items – fruits, veggies – to your meals, and remove the processed and fatty foods.
- Volunteer in a community program – such as CATCH Healthy Habits – you’ll be helping yourself and the children in your community. “We need more activity in our lives no matter how old we are,” says OASIS CATCH Healthy Habits volunteer Evelyn Gillespie.
Has an OASIS class or program helped you in getting active and healthy? Tell us!