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Factors to Consider in Fitness & Weight Management

Instructor: John Hamilton

John has tutored algebra and SAT Prep and has a B.A. degree with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from Christopher Newport University.

In this lesson, we examine several factors to consider in fitness and weight management. We cover the cost, accessibility, time necessary, and resources needed to reach these goals. We also cover the effect genetics has on these issues.

Fitness and Weight Management

Who doesn't imagine themself looking fit and healthy for the upcoming summer season of beaches and barbecues? Overall fitness and weight management are the goals of many people today, and yet so many people struggle with achieving these very same goals. Why? Perhaps because there are so many variables involved in these complex issues and there is only so much time each day to accomplish goals.

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Time

Some people have hours a day to devote to bicycling or working out at the gym lifting free weights. Other people have full-time jobs and families to come home to and struggle to fit in a quick jog in the morning or a walk during their lunch break. For dieting and weight management, you may need to spend extra time preparing meals and shopping for food.

Cost

The cost of fitness and weight management can vary dramatically. A couple of fitness barbells can be bought at a yard sale for a few dollars, while an expensive home gym can cost thousands. Joining one of the popular televised meal plans can cost hundreds of dollars per month or so depending on the plan, while some personal trainers charge hundreds of dollars per hour. On the other hand, the costs of NOT controlling fitness and weight management include poor health or even death.

Accessibility

One exercise that can be done just about anywhere is walking. The same could be said for jogging or bicycling. A home gym, while often pricey, allows the athlete to work out without even leaving the home. Driving to the gym takes time and motivation and can be hampered by traffic, so that must be factored in as well. For dieting and weight management, the internet has made accessibility so much easier. In the past, the patient used to have to drive to a meeting for a weight loss group or to the doctor's office to be weighed or meet with a dietitian.

Resources

Today there is a veritable plethora of resources to aid a person in fitness and weight management. In addition to the three major weight loss programs advertised on television, the internet has introduced countless apps and fitness trackers, including the popular Fitbit. Who hasn't heard their coworkers or classmates argue about who walked 10,000 steps or more?

Choosing the Right Diet

How does one choose the right diet these days? After all, there are hundreds to choose from of every type. One can choose to eat gluten-free, high protein, vegan, Mediterranean, low carbohydrate, low fat, and the list goes on. A good place to start is by consulting one's doctor and having a checkup first. One reason for this is that there are many fad diets out there, and some of them might be dangerous; sadly, some people do die each year from health fads. A second reason is that a doctor can recommend a qualified dietitian to work with the patient. Another factor to consider is whether the patient has any allergies, diabetes, or heart disease.

Behavior Modification

Behavior modification or behavior therapy is a psychological concept that involves altering failure patterns through biofeedback and positive reinforcement. A failure pattern is when a person gets caught in a loop of sorts and repeats the same negative behavior over and over again. Biofeedback is the use of electronic monitoring to help someone change. One facet of this change is for the person to control the home, work, and mealtime environments instead of letting them control the person. Thus, the person ultimately takes voluntary control. This also involves having a healthy attitude as well.

Genetics and Weight

Scientists know today that humans have a gene for just about everything, and the ability to lose weight appears to be no exception. While this is a nascent field, scientists feel that genetics account for at least half of a person's disposition to lose weight. In other words, yes there really are skinny and fat genes (not just jeans). Life isn't always fair, as some people can eat junk food all day and not exercise and still be trim, while other people eat healthy and exercise and still struggle to lose weight.

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