How are your New Years resolutions coming, Eagle County?
Vail CO, Colorado
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado “Say it’s not so, but 2008 is already 53 days old. Only 312 shopping days left until Christmas. Before I get ahead of myself, perhaps it is worth looking back at your New Year resolutions. I often challenge you to think of healthy New Year’s resolutions with my first article of the year. Those promises can be too easily forgotten, so now I have decided to pose the question: How are your New Year’s resolutions going? With obesity and smoking as our nation’s two greatest health risks, what are you doing?
It is pretty easy to decide if you are a smoker. When denial becomes just too persuasive to admit the truth, ask a non-smoking friend, they will be happy to confirm your doubts. When it comes to obesity however, the decision is a bit harder. I have never had an overweight person come in to my office and say they’re lazy, a couch potato and eat too much. The frustrating truth is, genetics plays a big role and for some, diet and exercise may never be enough. That does not diminish the importance of either, however. The basic truth comes when you know your BMI or Body Mass Index. That is our best measure of your weight. Less than 25 and a pat on the back is well deserved; 21 to 23 can be excellent numbers for athletes, although anything below 18.5 is unhealthy. If you are truly muscular, a BMI up to 27 can be acceptable, but anything over that and your health risks are going up. A BMI greater than 30 is considered obese. That is not the bad word it has come to mean in the public’s mind, but simply a medical term signifying that your weight is putting you at serious health risks for high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes and degenerative joint disease, along with a host of other things you would rather not have. The mirror is deceiving so calculate your number.
To determine your BMI, measure your height accurately, and weight after waking up in the morning. BMI is equal to weight in pounds / (height in inches x height in inches) times 703 or, (weight in pounds / height in inches2 ) x 703. The internet has many BMI calculators on line which you can use, and your doctor will be happy to calculate the number if they have not already done so.
There are few health problems that excess weight or smoking do not make worse. At the same time, if you have truly tried to lose weight or quit smoking and haven’t been successful, don’t be too hard on yourself, it is really not only your fault. Genetics, lifestyle, social influences, addiction and stress are a few reasons people fail. The truth remains that success, like most things in life, involves getting help, teamwork and persistence. A positive attitude, commitment to success and the confidence to make it happen go a long way in helping too.
My next two articles will talk specifically about losing weight and quitting smoking ” stay tuned! There is some new cautionary information recently released about Chantix, the medicine that purports to help you quit smoking. l’ll also talk about the Dr. Drew diet. Until then, make the commitment to make each day a bit healthier. One less cigarette smoked or a snack skipped makes a difference.
Remember your health is your responsibility! Health is our greatest asset and it doesn’t happen by accident. If something doesn’t seem right, or questions are left unanswered don’t wait, call your doctor. Let me know what’s on your mind at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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