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3 Easy Ways to Stay Active At Home

I was compensated by Med-IQ through an educational grant from Novo Nordisk, Inc to write about obesity and the realities of obesity as a chronic disease. All opinions are my own.

Just before all of this happened, I took a visit to my primary care physician. I was dreading that visit, because I hadn’t done anything I was supposed to. Like move more, like change my diet, like loose that weight, and reduce my risk of having diabetes.

I have obesity you see.

My physician was gentle with me because she’s good. But we both agreed that I needed more movement in my life. I needed to take control of my health and make better choices for me.

So I made my plans: decided on a diet plan , signed up for a new class at the Y , and wrote it down in my journal.

And then, Coronavirus hit.

And all my plans went out the window.

I spent the first few weeks in a state of suspended disbelief! How was this happening? And of course, the stress of staying at home, social distancing, and being uncertain about what our new “normal” is going to eventually look like, is started taking a toll on my overall health.

Both physical and mental.

Every time I got on the scale( which I KNOW not to do), I beat myself up over a pound gained or only a pound loss. I would either take a Spin class online every day, several times a day, or nothing at all.

Healthy diet? FORGET ABOUT IT. My food choices were awful!

As the days lingered, baking become my therapy and the fit of my jeans told the tale.

My inner voice was telling me that I was already fat, might as well be lazy and eat what I want.

But According to this New York Times article, and this NBC News article, some of our community members who have obesity, experience more severe COVID-19 symptoms/complications.

I don’t want to become a statistic, but I also don’t want to dive deep into negative self-talk that does more harm than good.

People first language for obesity.

I decided to collaborate with  Med-IQ, a continuing medical education company, again this year, to continue to help to generate awareness around obesity and its status as a chronic disease.

As I talked about last year, I am proof that the way obesity is presented, can have a lasting impact on the patient.

Obesity is a chronic condition defined as excessive fat accumulation that may harm a person’s health.  It is a chronic disease and has nothing to do with a lack of effort or willpower.

People develop obesity because of existing genetic risk factors in their DNA that respond to environmental, cultural or behavioral factors.

I recently sat in on a Zoom Call with Donna Ryan, MD: President, World Obesity Federation; and Dr Christopher D. Still, Professor of Meidicine, Geisinger Commonwealth School of medicine Director, Cener for Nutrition and Weight mangagemnt and Director, Geidinger Obesity instutel

We talked about a few things to remember during this time in our lives in terms of weight gain and obesity.

  • Think about ways to keep weight in check that don’t include a scale, like tape measurements or how a pair pants fit but establish and maintain awareness. Because not using some way to keep track of your weight is like driving without a speedometer.
  • Try a new mantra: Maintain, don’t gain!
  • Don’t forget to celebrate yourself and your accomplishments! Don’t focus on just the negative.
  • Be healthy at home.

According to the WHO ( World Health Organization) , “Sedentary behavior and low levels of physical activity can have negative effects on the health, well-being and quality of life of individuals. Self-quarantine can also cause additional stress”.

The Who Recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, or a combination of both. That’s 21 minutes a day of moderate-intensity or 10 minutes of vigorous activity.

I can do that. WE can do that.

So I decided to take these recommendations and have been putting these 3 Tips into action as much as I can:

1.Take Short Active Breaks During the Day

According to the WHO, Short bouts of physical activity can add up to the weekly recommendations. For me, that’s things like cleaning ( there always seems to be something to clean now), having mini dance parties with Pookah and going up and down my hilly driveway to get the mail.

2. Take An Online Exercise Class

Youtube has a ton of online exercise classes! I have the Peloton app and I’ve been taking everything from spinning, to running to venturing into Yoga. I’m trying a little bit of everything when I can, with no pressure!

3. Take A Walk

I’m going to be honest and say that before all of this, I never considered taking a walk around my neighborhood. A main street runs down it and it’s always busy.

But it’s peacefully quiet now, with almost NO traffic.

And now, it’s my favorite thing to do since I’m dragging the entire family with me.

These walks are not only helping me get in some movement, but I get to spend time with family too.

I celebrate every time I move everyday. Every time I manage to take a walk, or do a yoga class or take time away from this all and practice self care for me. I celebrate when I pick fruit over cake, and don’t beat myself up when I don’t.

We can all do this! Join me friends!

Med-IQ is conducting an anonymous survey and would appreciate your input. The survey, which includes additional education on this topic, will take less than 15 minutes to complete.

Survey responses are shared only in aggregate. Your responses to these survey questions will provide Med-IQ with important information about your experiences with obesity and your care team, which will help us develop future educational initiatives.

Once you’ve completed the survey, you will have the option of providing your email address to be entered into a drawing administered by SOMA Strategies to win 1 of 10 $100 VISA giftcards.

If you choose to enter, your email address will be used only to randomly draw the winners and notify them of their prize and to send a follow-up survey as part of this same initiative.

Take the Survey here

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