February Health Tips and National Observations
Here’s some news you can use for February 2021!
What is Obesity?
Weight that is higher than what is considered as a healthy weight for a given height is described as overweight or obese. Body mass index (BMI) is a measurement calculated from a person’s height and weight (multiply weight in pounds by 703, divide by height in inches and divide again by height in inches). A high BMI can be an indicator of high body fat and obesity.
- Underweight range: less than 18.5
- Normal range: 18.5 to <25
- Overweight range: 25 to <30
- Obese range: 30.0 or higher
It’s worth noting that BMI can be used as a screening tool, but is not diagnostic of the overall health of an individual.
How prevalent is obesity?
According to 2017-2018 CDC data, the prevalence of obesity was 42.4%, and the prevalence of severe obesity was 9.2% among American adults. The overall prevalence of obesity was similar among men and women. But, when it comes to severe obesity, there is a higher prevalence among women as well as among both sexes within 40-59 age group.
5 Ways to Start Your Year Off Right
Like many other people, you may be thinking about what you would like to accomplish in 2021 or what life changes you could make. Common New Year’s resolutions include losing weight, exercising, getting organized, learning new skills and saving money.
To achieve your resolutions, try the following strategies:
- Set a goal that motivates you.
- Set a goal that is specific.
- Set a goal that is manageable or attainable.
- Write down your goals to establish intention.
- Share your goals with others to increase accountability.
Ready, Set, Go!
2020 has likely given you time to reflect and think about what you’d like to change about your lifestyle. This is a good time to make positive life changes and strive for an overall healthier self. Consider the following five tips to start the new year off right:
- Check in on your mental health. Mental health is just as important as physical health in building a healthy lifestyle. Reach out to a professional if you need help.
- Be social. Isolating during the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t have to mean loneliness. Reconnect with others virtually or while practicing social distancing.
- Get regular checkups. Stay up to date on your annual physicals and necessary health tests. Screenings can help identify health issues to be addressed.
- Drink more water. Consuming sugary drinks, like juice or soda, can cause liver damage, premature aging and anxiety. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption as well.
- Count nutrients, not calories. Focus on improving the overall quality of your diet and not getting hung up on calories. Achieve this by adding more fiber, protein and probiotics to your diet.
If you do just one thing in 2021, consider making time for yourself. Identify the activities that make you happy or fulfilled and prioritize them. Talk to your doctor or mental health professional for guidance and support with lifestyle changes.
BUYING YOUR RETIREMENT
Most of us know it is smart to save money for those big-ticket items we really want to buy, such as a new television, car or home. But you may not realize that probably the most expensive thing you will ever buy in your lifetime is your retirement.
Perhaps you’ve never thought of “buying” your retirement. Yet that is exactly what you do when you put money into a retirement nest egg. You are paying today for the cost of your retirement tomorrow.
Cost of Retirement
The cost of those future years is getting more expensive for most Americans, for two reasons. First, we live longer after we retire—with many of us spending 15, 25, even 30 years in retirement—and we are more active. Second, you may have to shoulder a greater chunk of the cost of your retirement because fewer companies are providing traditional pension plans and are contributing less to those plans. Many retirement plans today, such as the popular 401(k), are paid for primarily by the employee, not the employer. You may not have a retirement plan available at work or you may be self-employed. This puts the responsibility of choosing retirement investments squarely on your shoulders.
Unfortunately, only about half of all Americans are earning retirement benefits at work, and many are not familiar with the basics of investing. Many people mistakenly believe that Social Security will pay for all or most of their retirement needs. The fact is, since its inception, Social Security has provided a minimum foundation of protection. A comfortable retirement usually requires Social Security, pensions, personal savings and investments.
In short, paying for the retirement you desire is ultimately your responsibility. You must take charge. You are the architect of your financial future. That may seem like an impossible task. Many of us live paycheck to paycheck, barely making ends meet. You may have more pressing financial needs and goals than “buying” something so far in the future. Or perhaps you’ve waited until close to retirement before starting to save. You still may be able to afford to buy the kind of retirement you want. Whether you are 18 or 58, you can take steps toward a better, more secure future.