Obesity and Asthma: Killing Two Birds by Losing a Stone
Though medical experts are forever debating whether or not obesity can be classified as a disease, it is definitely a gateway illness. Obesity can lead to heart disease, diabetes, asthma, and other life threatening conditions. It also worsens existing conditions. People with asthma are likely to have more serious breathing problems if they are also overweight.
Since exercise can be difficult for people with asthma, some think that they will never be able to get into shape. This is simply not true. Exercise is not only possible with asthma, but can help strengthen breathing muscles. With the right strategy, you will not only lose that extra weight, but breathe more easily while doing it. Here are some tips to consider when you are trying to lose weight while living with asthma.
Check Your Meds
If you take medication to regulate your asthma, double check with your doctor to make sure that they do not cause weight gain. If weight gain is a potential side effect of your medication, see what you can do to combat that or try a new prescription. It is very important when taking any medication to be aware of the side effects and how it will affect conditions that you are not being treated for.
The two main methods of losing weight are exercise and the right diet. It is no different for someone with asthma. You can definitely still exercise with asthma, but since you may find it difficult, healthy eating is all that much more important. Choosing foods that are high in protein and fiber and low in fat can help you on the road to better health. Remember, your goal is never just to lose weight; it is to be a healthier you.
Nutritionists have many different opinions about what a balanced diet should consist of, but there are some things they all agree on. Avoid overly processed foods and eating out, as those venues (especially fast food) tend to be detrimental to your overall wellbeing. Pay attention to the amount of fat, carbs, protein, sodium, fiber, and vitamins and nutrients are in what you eat. Just the act of paying attention will cause you to make better choices.
Don’t always trust the packaging. Just because something advertises itself as “healthier” does not mean that it is good for you. Often items that are low-fat are higher in sodium. Be careful that in your desire to avoid one thing, you aren’t over indulging in another. Look at the nutritional information and do your research. Being informed will often keep you from eating those “guilty pleasures” anyway. When it comes to knowing what is in your food, ignorance can be bliss, but knowledge leads to healthier choices.
We’re finally here, at the dreaded topic. If the thought of exercise causes your lungs to tighten, don’t worry; exercise does not have to be painful. Always make sure that you stretch adequately before exercising. Being warmed up prepares your lungs for the workout you are about to execute. There are a lot of resources for asthmatic-friendly workouts online.
If you want to work your way up in the scary world of fitness, start with a short walk every day. If air pollution and humidity trigger your asthma, try to walk in a time of day where this is less of a problem. Starting off your mornings with exercise has been shown to have health benefits of its own and can really get you energized for your day.
Be sure to take your inhaler or other medication with you, keep plenty of water with you and take it slow. If you need to take a break, do so. It’s better to take longer than to overwork yourself. Making a point to stay hydrated will have outside benefits as well, as most people do not drink enough water.
If you haven’t noticed, many of these tips are good for you in ways other than just helping you lose weight. Ideally, living in a more health-conscious way will help you lose weight and losing weight will help you to be healthier. If there is not this reciprocal relationship, something is not being done right. This is why schemes to lose weight quickly do not yield lasting results. Making yourself unhealthy just to reach an ideal weight will not help you in the long run, especially if you already have multiple health issues.
If you follow these tips to lose weight in a healthy way, you will see benefits not only in your weight, but in your overall fitness. As previously mentioned, certain exercises can help you strengthen your breathing muscles. Also, eliminating the stress that obesity causes on the body will help reduce the symptoms of your asthma. There are many reasons to maintain a healthy weight. Find what motivates you and take the steps to get there.
Ken Stanfield is a writer, blogger and health enthusiast who spends his time researching and writing about respiratory health, healthcare, geriatric healthcare needs and humanitarianism. He currently writes for the nebulizer systems supplier justnebulizers.com
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