A recent report by the NPR charts the rise of the $10 billion self care industry. Far from dismissing it as flippant or purely cosmetic, it seems that there is a power to self-care which is only just emerging. The January Empowered #patientchat focused on the importance of self-care for both patients and care partners, and many contributors highlighted health and fitness as valuable opportunities for self-care and empowerment. So how can you empower yourself to make great health and fitness choices? And how will they benefit you?
Losing pounds, gaining results
Studies have shown that losing 5-10% of your body weight can make a real difference to your physical health, helping to protect from conditions such as heart disease, arthritis and diabetes. It can also be a real boost to your self-esteem to start seeing results on the scales or in your jeans. Finding the motivation to stick to a plan, and seeing it pay off as you hit milestones and goals is hugely rewarding and empowering. Fitness is a journey that no-one else can take for you; you can have cheerleaders and a full support crew, but it’s you doing the work, which is why it feels so great when you achieve. Not seeing the results you were hoping for by now? It may be that you’re making some of the common weight loss mistakes that can prevent effective and lasting weight loss. By reading up and avoiding the pitfalls, you can get on with building a better body.
Boosting your body
Nourishing your body from within with good healthy food is one of the most meaningful forms of self-care. The USDA offers sound advice on creating a varied, nutritious plate to ensure that your body is boosted in the nutrients it needs. Drinking plenty of water is also always a powerful tool, enabling your body to replenish and restore itself. Put simply, taking time to feed yourself with a rainbow of fruit and vegetables, lean proteins and fiber, along with all the other food groups in moderation, will strengthen your body and boost your immune system. There’s also evidence that the colors and textures will help your mental health too; so why wait?
There’s no doubt that obesity is bad for the body, and it already affects over a third of US adults. What’s becoming clearer though, is that taking a positive approach to weight loss, through regular exercise and healthy eating, not only improves physical health but greatly boosts mental health and well-being. Empower yourself by embracing your health and fitness, and you may just find it to be the greatest expression of self-care possible.