This blog post is by Julia  Merrill. Ms Merrill is a retired nurse, who aims to provide tips on finding the right medical care, health insurance, and more. She has many years of experience in the medical field and runs the site BefriendYourDoc. Her mission is to close the gap between medical providers and their patients.

We live in a culture that sends us mixed signals.  We are encouraged to stay so busy we don’t feel there is the time or energy for a wellness program.  Yet every day we receive messages emphasizing the importance of being slim.  We also are inundated with unhealthy, convenient food selections.  Adjusting how you think of good health can help with making better choices and beating obesity.

Keys to wellness.  Making better choices in your daily life can help you overcome obesity and improve your overall well-being.  The same key factors that affect your weight and physical health also affect your mental and emotional health.  It’s imperative for those who struggle with extreme stress or mental health issues such as depression or anxiety to include a good self-care plan.  According to some experts, you can improve your quality of life and wellness by finding an enjoyable workout routine, getting plenty of rest, eating a balanced diet, and addressing mental health issues.  If you aren’t quite sure about what your weight should be, you can consult an online body mass index calculator.  It’s a great way to not only note your starting point but also measure improvement.

Fitness.  Most of us realize exercise is important, but making it part of your lifestyle can be difficult.  Finding ways to stay active can reduce your stress levels, help you relax, and boost your physical health.  Fitness offers some terrific suggestions for squeezing an exercise routine into your busy life:

  • Set your alarm early enough to allow time for a workout at the beginning of your day.
  • Make exercise convenient: Use a stability ball at your desk, keep hand weights close, and do some chair exercises during commercial breaks while watching TV.
  • Take the stairs when you can, and as your fitness improves, add more energy to the climb.
  • Incorporate activity into your lunch break with a quick walk or trip to the gym.
  • Make fitness part of your commute to work by walking, cycling, or jogging.
  • Include your children in your workout.
  • Turn your treadmill into a full-body workout by adding hand weights and an upper-body routine.

Healthy eating.  One of the keys to losing weight is finding a diet that is both satisfying and healthy.  According to some recent studies, it’s more important to control your sugar and carb intake than fat intake.  By lowering your consumption of highly refined and quickly consumed carbohydrates, you can feel full, enjoy more energy, and still lose weight.  NHS Choices recommends choosing whole-grain carbohydrates for a generous third of every meal.  Add five daily servings of fruits and vegetables and at least two portions of fish every week.  Reduce your saturated fats, salt, and sugar consumption.  Drink plenty of water and eat breakfast every day.

Sleep enough.  Don’t underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep.  Some studies indicate that too much or too little sleep can lead to feeling sluggish and gaining weight.  The average adult requires between seven and nine hours of sleep per night to maintain healthy physical and mental health.  Some experts suggest making getting sufficient sleep your first priority and establishing the rest of your daily routine around it.  Choose a bedtime that will allow seven hours of sleep, and if you still don’t feel rested, increase your sleep period with an earlier bedtime.

Bad habits.  Many of us struggle with unhealthy habits, including substance abuse.  Overcoming an addiction is challenging, but including a wellness program can reduce cravings and improve your mental and physical health.  Consider incorporating a mindfulness program such as yoga or swimming into your lifestyle.  Spend time in nature; go hiking or walk in a local park.  Take your pup or your kids along.  You’ll not only get exercise but absorb some vitamin D.

Many of us struggle with our weight, and obesity is a common concern.  It’s difficult to live in an on-the-go world and still make time for healthy choices.  However, by employing some simple strategies, you can manage your weight effectively.

The Nurses for Nurses Network provides great information and CPD  on an array of nursing topics in a range of easy learning ways including webinars and quizzes on the latest information that Nurses need to know – remember the Nurses for Nurses Network was created by Australian Nurses for Nurses!

The thoughts of this blog are of the individual writer and not necessarily those of the Nurses for Nurses Network. To read our full disclaimer click here >>