If you need to shed a few extra pounds, you're not alone. Excess weight is possibly the largest health concern in the United States today. According to the Surgeon General, well over half of all adults in the U.S. were overweight in 1999. The good news is that your chiropractor can help you achieve your ideal weight and stay there. And it won't involve feeling tortured by unrealistic diet or exercise regiments.
Even when hormones, metabolic imbalances or genes play a role, two basic methods are always recommended: increased physical activity and healthier dietary habits. Because chiropractic looks at you as a whole-including nutritional, environmental, emotional and physiological factors-your chiropractor is well suited to help you assess the best ways for you, as an individual, to approach both.
Increasing Physical Activity
According to the Surgeon General, 40 percent of Americans do not participate in regular physical activity. And, despite the multitude of proven health benefits resulting from physical fitness, a recent Mayo Clinic article reported that, sadly, only 22 - 48 percent of patients are advised by their primary care physicians to step up the amount of exercise they get.
Aside from motivating and helping patients to determine the kind of exercise best for them, chiropractic can remove some of the difficult road-blocks-such as pain from old injuries, impaired flexibility, misalignments and the resulting self-consciousness-that stop well-intentioned exercise participants from moving forward. When patients feel good physically, their chances of successfully meeting their weight goals increase dramatically.
You chiropractor may suggest the following: First of all, don't be fooled into thinking that a hard workout is the only workout. Walking is one of the best ways to keep active. Also, it isn't necessary to exercise for one, long stretch of time. Multiple short workouts (e.g. three 10-minute sessions) can be just as effective. And, finally, don't forget to enjoy yourself! Exercise should make you feel good.
Re-evaluating Your Diet
As with physical activity, it's important to implement dietary changes that support you physically and mentally, and that do not go to unsustainable extremes. There are an overwhelming number of diet schemes (and scams) out there, and it can be difficult to navigate a sane path to better eating alone. Your chiropractor, who studied nutrition as part of his or her training, can offer you personalized advice and support.
Because there are a myriad of serious health concerns associated with excess weight-such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke-the decision to lose weight can be a crucial one. Don't hesitate to use your chiropractor as a resource. He or she can provide the necessary care and support for healthy weight loss.