Archive for June, 2017

Weight: Give Us Something To Shoot For

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

DoveCampaignWe have all seen the new Dove commercials that feature “real” women rather than the impossibly “ideal” models that are usually selected. While the Dove girls are universally attractive and fit, they also reflect different sizes and shapes, designed to represent the average American woman. Is that what we want?

Glorifying our diversity seems like a positive development which should lead to increased self-content and improved self-esteem. Comparing ourselves to the imperfect bodies displayed is supposed to lessen our self-criticism and sense of inadequacy.

Does it?

oprah-winfrey-quote-we-cant-become-what-we-need-to-be-by-remainingWe are a race of strivers, constantly seeking to better ourselves. Self-improvement is the biggest marketing niche of the Twenty-first Century, from books and classes to online information products, magazines, and television. The gurus of our day, from Oprah, to Martha Stewart, to Dr. Phil, to Donald Trump, all entice us towards improving ourselves, our looks, our relationships, our finances, our surroundings — our whole life. We are dissatisfied with ourselves as we are because we have caught a glimpse of what we can become.

To keep us motivated in that direction, we need a vision of perfection to work towards, even if we know we’ll never quite get there.

When it comes to weight control, what will keep us riveted on our goal? To look as gorgeous as the cover models on Cosmopolitan or the chunky figures in the Dove Ads?

We don’t want to be patronized by the marketing mavens. We don’t want a subtle reminder that we need to set our sights lower or aspire to something less than excellence. We want a dream that soars, that inspires us to unbelievable heights. We want a vision to move towards, no matter how unlikely it is that we will reach that destination. So keep your condescending “Go ahead and settle for this” approach away, please.

Robert Browning suggested: “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”

Weight Loss Exercise

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

 

broadlands_buffet1A lot of us live our lives like penned animals. Built to move, too often we put ourselves in a cage. We have bodies designed for racing across the savannas, but we live a lifestyle designed for migrating from the bed to the breakfast table; to the car seat; to the office chair; to the restaurant booth; to the living room couch and back to the bed.

It was not always this way. Not long ago in the United States, a man who worked on a farm did the equivalent of 15 miles of jogging every day; and his wife did the equivalent of 7 miles of jogging.

Today, our daily obligations of work and home keep us tied to our chairs, and if we want exercise, we have to seek it out.

In fact, health experts insist that obesity problem is probably caused at least as much by lack of physical activity as by eating too much. Hence, it is important that people need to move around.

However, that does not mean that a lap or two around the old high school track will offset a daily dose of donuts. Exercise alone is not very efficient, experts say. They contend that if you just exercise and do not change your diet, you may be able to prevent weight gain or even lose a few pounds for a while.

Nevertheless, it is not something that you are likely to sustain unless exercise is part of an overall program. The more regularly you exercise, the easier it is to maintain your weight. Here is what to do every day to make sure that you get the exercise you need.

1. Get quality Zzzs.

sleeping-feature-image-british-woman-Sleep_womanMake sure that you get adequate sleep. Good sleep habits are conducive to exercise, experts point out. If you feel worn out during the day, you are less likely to get much physical activity during the day.

In addition, there is evidence that people who are tired tend to eat more, using food as a substance for the rest they need.

2. Walk the walk.

It is probably the easiest exercise program of all. In fact, it may be all you ever have to do, according to some professional advices of some health experts.

Gradually build up to at least 30 minutes of brisk walking five times a week. Brisk walks themselves have health and psychological benefits that are well worth the while.

3. Walk the treadmill.

e0f824fb35ce8e8c_walkrunWhen the weather is bad, you might not feel like going outdoors. But if you have a treadmill in the television room, you can catch up on your favorite shows while you are doing your daily good turn for your weight-maintenance plan.

Most of us watch television anyway, and indoor exercise equipment enables anyone to turn a sedentary activity into a healthy walk.

4. Seize the time.

Excuses aside, lack of time is certainly a limiting factor in most lifestyles. That is why health experts suggest a basic guideline for incorporating exercise into your schedule.

Get as much exercise as you can that feels good without letting it interfere with your work or family life. If you need to, remind yourself that you are preventing many health problems when you prevent weight gain; and keeping your health is a gift to your family as well as yourself.