Society has long ignored the scientific causes of obesity and formed their perceptions based on personal attitudes. There are a number of factors that have been identified that contribute to the epidemic of obesity. Unfortunately, there continues to be a public perception of obesity being a “personality” disorder. Quite frequently patients are told “…just eat right and exercise, and everything will be fine.” We all know that is not the case. One of the poster presentations during the 2016 Obesity Week was on the subject of causes and perception of obesity. This topic is always an important talking point at these meetings and there seems to be some changes in viewpoint of the general population.
This was a large study conducted over a long time frame with a relatively decent population size.
The study showed a slow but steady improvement in the perception by the general population in recognizing the multifactorial nature of obesity with less personal blame on the patient. The pace of change in perception has been positive, however, there is a still large gap for improvement. There is hope for the future of a correlation of causes and perceptions of obesity.
We, as a healthcare providers and society, are making improvements in educating, awareness, and perception of obesity but we still have work to do. In this changing healthcare environment, we can not let these gains in perception slip back to old patterns and biases. We need to maintain our diligence, education and our forward thinking to continue the positive and factual perception of obesity.
Exercise and it’s benefits for body, mind and weight loss can’t be over emphasized. Everyone can benefit from some form of exercise whether it be a brisk walk, chair exercises, exercise bands, aquatics, running, hiking or biking. As a family we try to exercise often and attempt to participate in at least one event a month or so. These types of events tend to keep us more accountable and motivated. The group atmosphere, energy and vibe only add to the experience. Listed below are some of our favorite exercise events. We will update this list and add to it.
- Weight loss and maintenance can be a benefit of exercise. It also improves muscle function and strength.
- Improves Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome
- Reduces some Cancer Risk
- Improved Cardiovascular Health
- Improved “Good” cholesterol
- Strengthens and improves Bone Health
- Living longer
- Improved Sleep
Mental Health Benefits:
- Reduce Stress
- Boosts Endorphins
- Helps with Anxiety
- Improved Self Confidence
- Being in the Great Outdoors and Sunlight (increases Vitamin D)
- Prevent Cognitive Decline
- Sharpen Memory and Cognitive Function
- Help with Addiction
- Increase Relaxation
One important key note is to pay close attention to hydration with exercise, not only with fluids but electrolytes as well. Exercise increases fluid loss due to sweat and increase circulation to muscle. You need to increase fluid intake to compensate for these losses.
Exercise events by the month:
The Los Angels River Ride is one of our families favorites. Great ride for a great cause.
The Prudential 401K Run is to promote saving for retirement and is a FREE event at the beautiful Rose Bowl
The Aloha Run brings a little Hawaiian feel to the fall.
City of Hope’s Walk for Hope
Santa to the Sea (must bring a gift for a child)
Varying months depending on location:
CicLAvia a Los Angeles area quarterly biking event.
Sunshine, Water, Rest, Air, Exercise and Diet
Of course this is over simplified, but we can’t forget the importance of the basics in our general well being. Weight loss surgery and especially Duodenal Switch have distinctive supplement requirements that need to be individualized based on your individual needs.
Sunshine is essential to life. It provides the light that wakes us and helps to regulate wake/sleep cycles and provides us with a feeling of well being. Sunlight is not only the basis of all living things but crucial in boosting the bodies Vitamin D supply. Most Vitamin D deficiencies in the general public are caused by lack of sun exposure. It is important to note that our bodies can not accomplish Vitamin D metabolism if we are wearing sunscreen. Without adequate Vitamin D stores bones will not form properly, muscle strength is impaired and osteoporosis. Vitamin D 1,25(OH) accumulates in cell nuclei of the intestine, where it enhances calcium and phosphorus absorption, controlling the flow of calcium into and out of bones to regulate bone-calcium metabolism. However, after weight loss surgery this mechanism can be impaired. Addition supplementation of Vitamin D is usually required based on laboratory studies following weight loss surgery. Duodenal Switch patients should take a dry “water miscible” type of Vitamin D3 daily.
Water comprises 50-60% of our adult bodies. Water is essential in cell life. It aids in transporting vitamins, nutrients and minerals to our cells. Chemical and Metabolic reactions rely on water to remove waste products including toxins that the organs’ cells reject and removes them through urine and feces. Our body temperature is regulated by sweating and the evaporation of water on the skin. Also, effectively Lubricating our joints and acting as a shock absorber for our brain, eyes, and spinal cord. Decreased stomach size, after weight loss surgery, limits the amount of water a person can drink at one time. It is imperative that patients ingest enough waters and fluids after surgery. We like to see our patients consume a minimum of 64 ounces of fluids a day, more on warmer days.
Rest is something we can all use more of. Lack of sleep can cause a whole host of health issues ranging from altered levels of hormones involved in metabolism, appetite regulation, stress response to cardiovascular health, insulin resistance, immune function and most importantly post-operatively tissue repair, muscle growth and protein synthesis. It’s easy to take rest for granted but do not underestimate the power of sleep.
Air is an obvious essential of life. It is important in about every function of our cells. After surgery it is important to lung health and tissue repair. Be aware of the type of air you are breathing. Pollution and contaminants in the air can impair lung function. After surgery your breathing and breathing exercises will prevent complications such as pneumonia and atelectasis. Long term air contaminants can cause asthma and long term lung health. In addition, post surgical patients will need to use their incentive spirometers to combat lung complications.
Exercise’s health benefits can not be denied. Exercise combat health conditions and disease such as stroke, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It also improves emotional outlook and mood. Physical activity stimulates the brain to release chemicals that involve increasing memory function. Exercise helps maintain healthy weight, improves energy, promotes better sleep, lowers stress and anxiety. Needless, to say after surgery exercise is extremely important for all the above reasons but also to ward off complications such as pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis.
Diet is last but definitely not least. Balance along with moderation and eating whole unprocessed foods are best ways to ensure your health. We derive most our building blocks for cell growth from the nutrients we consume. The quality of the food we put into our bodies is important in lowering health risks such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and weight control. Protein is crucial in muscle growth, hemoglobin, cell structure and enzymes formation. It is extremely important after weight loss surgery to remain diligent about protein intake throughout your lifetime.
It is interesting to see how all these elements are so intertwined in their synergy to maintain health. Most are easily found or done in nature. When engaging in one of these elements, many of the others are needed or benefited by the doing the first. Exercise requires that you stay hydrated, deep breath, possibly out in the sunlight and therefore you will rest better. Always follow your surgeon’s orders and recommendations based on your individual health status and laboratory studies.