The secret to long-term success and weight management is not finding a quick fix – it’s a lifetime approach and commitment to healthy living.

3 steps to a healthier you

Women Group Runner Stretching

Let’s face it. Losing weight is tough. With so many fad diets, celebrity endorsed meal plans and fitness crazes out there, it’s almost impossible to find the right mix for you. But, according to Dr. Robin Baines with Sentara Family Medicine Physicians, the secret to long-term success and weight management is not finding a quick fix – it’s a lifetime approach and commitment to healthy living.

So, to get you started on your path to success, here are Dr. Baines’ top three tips for adopting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle:

Get a good night’s sleep. Not enough sleep actually increases your risk of being overweight. So, make sure to consistently get at least 8 hours of restful sleep a night. Also, being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing sleep apnea – a dangerous condition that causes you to stop and start breathing in your sleep – so make sure to talk to your primary care provider if you are having trouble sleeping through the night.

Get up and get moving! Adults under 65 should get at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise a week. Good examples of moderate exercise include walking briskly, water aerobics, cycling, tennis and gardening. In addition, 2 days per week of muscle strengthening exercise with light weights is also
recommended.

Believe it or not, building a little muscle helps you burn calories all day long! And, if you really want to work on your waistline, make these changes to your daily routine: park your car further away from your destination, always take the stairs, walk or cycle instead of drive and mow the lawn with a push mower instead of a riding mower. All these changes will make a big impact!

Make a commitment to a healthy diet.  Instead of trying to lose weight quickly through a fad diet or months of yo-yo dieting, make a commitment to healthy eating year round. Learn to fill your diet with lean meats, such a chicken, turkey or fish, whole grains and plenty of fruits and veggies. As a reference, your plate should be filled with fruits and veggies with some protein on the side. And, make sure to drink plenty of water or drinks with zero calories. You would be surprised how many calories you taste on beverages throughout the day! Also, limit servings of pasta, bread, potatoes, white rice and sweets. You don’t have to eliminate them altogether, just try to enjoy them in moderation!

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For more information on Sentara Family Medicine Physicians or Dr. Robin Baines, visit www.sentara.com/smg.