With the return of nicer weather to the Pacific Northwest, many people turn to the outdoors for exercise. But, really keeping yourself in shape is a year-round commitment to your health, your well-being, and your future. With national obesity rates exceeding 30%, it is time to take stock in who you are and what you eat and how you take care of yourself. I am always amazed at the number of patients who tell me they will begin exercising once we fix their joints, because they can not exercise now. The reality is, weight loss is not simply about exercise, but analyzing what you eat and how much you eat. The majority of us can lose a substantial amount of weight by simply decreasing our intake, analyzing exactly what we eat, and finding a healthier diet. Many individuals have a fairly fixed caloric intake, but as they develop arthritis, they begin to exercise less and less. As a result, the amount of calories they burn decreases and the national tendency is to gain weight. So, as we burn fewer calories, we have to decrease the amount of calories we take in. This is a concept that is often lost on individuals, but so important to our overall health.
So, my advice for the summer, take a moment, look at what you’re eating, how much your eating, and ask yourself, are you doing what’s best for you?
— William P. Barrett, MD