We're in the middle of several deadly epidemics in the United States. Obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are affecting more and more people every year. Recent statistics show that two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. Thirty percent of American children are obese. Approximately 21 million Americans have diabetes. One child out of every 500 has type I diabetes. In America, 72 million adults have high blood pressure. These are shocking statistics, considering that U.S. health care expenditures totaled $2 trillion in 2006. That's 2 TRILLION dollars.
As Americans, we're getting less healthy by the day. The good news is there are many things we can do about these trends. There is real action that every American, young and old, can take to support and protect their health and well-being. These action steps all focus on lifestyle - the choices we make each and every day.
The first step is an honest self-assessment. When was the last time I exercised? Does my clothes size increase every couple of years? How many times during the week do I eat fast food? When was the last time I ate an apple instead of half a box of cookies?
Regardless of the answers, it is possible to become healthy and fit again, whatever your current circumstances. You CAN lose 10 or 20 or 30 or however many pounds. You CAN climb stairs without getting out of breath. You CAN regain the youthful glow of vitality. You CAN be vigorous and proud of your body, rather than worrying about what's going to be the next thing to break down.
Healthy eating and regular exercise are essential parts of the solution to combating obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.1,2 These practices have the magical effect of resetting your metabolic clock - your body shifts from a pattern of storing fat to a pattern of burning fat.3 Over time, with a nutritious food plan and consistent exercise, you even burn fat while you're resting! Your body is very smart. You just have to treat it right.
Your chiropractor is a wonderful asset - both as a health care practitioner and as a guide - on your journey toward fitness and wellness. Your chiropractor has extensive resources available on practical nutrition and how to design a supportive food plan. He or she has deep knowledge regarding the types of exercises and activities that will be right for you. You and your chiropractor can design an exercise program that will be both fun and rewarding. Working together, you'll be maximizing your health and vitality. You will begin to fulfill a way of living that will support you in being healthy and well for years to come.
1Lindstrom J, et al: Sustained reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes by lifestyle intervention: follow-up of the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study. Lancet 368(9548):1673-1679, 2006.
2Orchard TJ, et al: The effect of metformin and intensive lifestyle intervention on the metabolic syndrome: the Diabetes Prevention Program randomized trial. Ann Intern Med 142(8):611-619, 2005
3Yannakoulia M, et al: A dietary pattern characterized by high consumption of whole-grain cereals and low-fat dairy products and low consumption of refined cereals is positively associated with plasma adiponectin levels in healthy women. Metabolism 57(6):824-830, 2008