Getting Healthy This Fall Affects all Areas of Life

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Weight loss plays a crucial role in helping people stave off debilitating diseases like arthritis (Arthritis Today, September/October), which means that before the cold weather hits, fall is the perfect time to re-focus healthy living gols, says Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil.

People with arthritis who lose ten percent of their weight improve mobility and feel less pain, according to Arthritis Today (September/October). This is just one reason, says therapist Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, why it's so important to get healthy this fall. "Fall is a perfect time to revisit healthy living goals - the motivation is there as it's not yet that cold and there are a lot of fun outdoor activities in which to participate."

Activity and exercise have profound benefits like:

  • Alzheimers prevention
  • Helping the pain of arthritis
  • Getting a better night's sleep
  • Possibly slowing aging
  • Assisting with healthy cognitive function

However, the first rule of weight loss is to do things in baby steps, things that are manageable or it won't be sustainable. "Things like apple picking are a perfect example of this," says Dr. Bonnie. It burns 204 calories per hour (Arthritis Today, September/October, pg. 100), but it's a fun way to take advantage of the changing season! Another manageable goal to tackle is to drink more water, and to drink water instead of other beverages, which can cut out hundreds of calories per day.

Additionally, sleep helps with weight loss as well. According to Arthritis Today, a sleepless night can slow production of the hormone that makes people feel full, so if they don't get enough sleep they'll feel hungry.

Another key is to shake up your routine with things people probably haven't heard of or considered. An example in Arthritis Today is to try snacking with the non-dominant hand. People who tried this ate 13 percent less while snacking because they were forced to slow down and appreciate what they were eating. People who learn to eat mindfully reduce their intake by almost 300 calories!

Dr. Bonnie's words of advice go hand-in-hand with this, as she encourages dieters to turn off the TV and find a supportive community! Dieters who had the support of people who were on a successful weight loss journey were 20 percent more likely to lose weight.

Fall is also a perfect time to take on what can otherwise be a stressful challenge. "Fall can be a very relaxing season," points out Dr. Bonnie. "The foliage and landscape encourages people to get out in nature and clear their mind. This is habit that is good for both the body AND mind." Nature plays an important role in calming people down and helping to treat depression or anxiety.

For these reasons, Dr. Bonnie encourages people to get on the path toward a healthier self this fall!

To see Dr. Bonnie talking more about the mind-body connection, click here:

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