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Weight Is a Number Better Health Is a Goal

By Paul Rothbart

Carrying extra pounds is a ubiquitous problem in the U.S. Obesity afflicts 46.5 percent of American adults while another 32.5 are overweight. There are numerous health problems linked to obesity and the medical community recommends getting to -- and maintaining -- a healthy weight. While bodyweight is a useful measurement, it can be detrimental to chase a number. The ultimate goal is good health and a better approach may be to pursue that goal rather than to merely weigh less.

Consult Your Primary Care Physician

We are bombarded by images of "beautiful people". They give the impression that we have to weigh X number of pounds to be healthy. Ideal weight charts and BMI may be helpful but tend to be generalized. Every person's body is unique and a weight that works for someone of a particular height may not be right for another of the same height. It is best to talk to your primary care physician. Together you can determine what you need to do to improve your health and reduce the risk of disease and other problems. This can shift your mindset to improving health rather than getting to a specific weight.

Target Other Numbers

Along with your doctor, you can come up with a weight goal to work toward. But there are other numbers you can target on your journey to better health. High cholesterol and triglycerides are excellent indicators of the state of your health. If these are high, set a goal for a lower, more healthy number and create a plan to get there. Blood sugar levels and blood pressure are other numbers that you can target. You can also take measurements of your waist size. This is a good indicator of general health and by making that number smaller, you can improve it. Choose goals that improve your overall health rather than just your appearance.

Put It All Together

Using the guidance of your physician, determine a healthy weight for your specific body along with healthy levels of cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure. Take notice of any test results that indicate potential health problems. Work toward reaching the levels of all of these numbers. Also be aware of other signs of better health such as higher energy levels, reduced daily pain, and less stress and anxiety.

A majority of adults would be healthier if they lost some weight. While working toward losing pounds, place your focus squarely on improved health. Weight is just a number while good health is priceless. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Hayward, Calif.

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