Now that the holidays are behind us, it’s time to think about making the New Year a healthier and thus happier one for ourselves and those around us. We can start to take charge of our lives and choose to eat healthier and exercise more. It’s easier than ever to do this with all of the resources available. We’ll discuss some of these, but first, let’s see about how massage can help with a weight loss program.
Massage increases the circulation of blood through our bodies. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to our cells. If our cells are getting their nutrients more efficiently, there is less need to eat as much. Increased circulation also helps the cells get rid of waste products and toxins associated with metabolism and everyday living, clearing the way for better absorption of nutrients from whole foods.
Massage also helps with weight loss by decreasing stress. Many people are anxious about work and life in general, and they may eat more to help them feel better. Unfortunately, they often end up eating unhealthy things that add weight and not nutrition. Less stress = better health. The brain chemicals released during a massage help us feel better and reduce the need to overeat. So regular massages (weekly or every-other-week) should be part of every healthy lifestyle plan.
According to the European Association for the Study of Obesity, “Overweight and obesity are the fifth leading risk for global deaths. At least 2.8 million adults die each year as a result of being overweight or obese.” The fifth leading cause of death in the world – that’s huge! We need to take weight off and keep it off with a healthy, happy lifestyle, and we need to make sure our children learn healthy habits from the beginning.
World Health Organization states, “Globally, 42 million preschool children were overweight in 2013.” And “Childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. Overweight children are likely to become obese adults. They are more likely than non-overweight children to develop diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a younger age, which in turn are associated with a higher chance of premature death and disability.”
For inspiration, we can watch movies with our children such as Supersize Me; Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead; Forks Over Knives; Food, Inc.; Food Matters; and May I Be Frank.
We can read books such as Diet for a New America; How Not to Die; Eat to Live; The China Study; Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure; and Dr. Neal Barnard’s Book for Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System for Reversing Diabetes Without Drugs.
There are also, literally thousands of websites with free, wonderful, easy recipes for improving health and reversing disease. Unfortunately, there are also thousands of easy to find, inexpensive distractions and products that can sabotage your efforts and undermine your will-power. Keep your eyes on the prize – good health and fitness and ignore the unhealthy ads for junk food and stick with fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains.
This is another way that massage can help – talking with your qualified Licensed Massage Therapist can reinforce your decision to live healthy and help you stay on track.
A few months ago, I saw retired tennis great Martina Navratilova speaking on TV about becoming more fit and maintaining fitness. I’ll never forget her words – “Nobody who ever got up and went for a run came back and said, ‘I wish I hadn’t done that.’” We always feel better after exercising, even though actually getting up and starting can sometimes be difficult.
Losing weight after the holidays can feel like a daunting task, but if we just take it one step at a time, and do one thing each day, it will all add up to success and good health. Do it for yourself and for your children. They will learn healthy habits from you, and you’ll all feel so much better. And don’t forget how helpful regular massages can be.