When it comes to being overweight there are different explanations as to the reasons for obesity. Lack of movement and overeating are two very common explanations. But what about our environment? Can our environment make us fat?
My answer? A resounding “Yes”.
A study by Carroll-Scott et al that was published in Social Science & Medicine in 2003 found that there is a correlation between “distinct neighborhood characteristics”, BMI, and health behaviors in children. In other words, those children who grew up in areas with close proximity to a fast food restaurant had a higher BMI (Body Mass Index = weight-to-height-ratio) than those living close to a grocery store. Also, those with easy access to playgrounds had on average a lower BMI as well.
How does this study help you?
The results of this study show that your environment plays an important role when it comes to your health. While children are pretty much at the mercy of their parents when it comes to the environment they live in, we as adults, are able to create our own environments. We can create an environment that builds barriers to a healthy lifestyle, or one that makes it easier for us to live healthily. The choice is ours!
Here are a few ways you can create a supportive environment; an environment that makes healthy living convenient for you:
Easy access to healthy foods
Are you too busy to go to the grocery store? Get your foods delivered! Delivery services like Instacart make it easy and affordable to get your groceries delivered right to your doorstep.
To make sure you always have healthy options at hand, set aside 1-2 hours twice a week to prepare healthy meals. Divide everything into portions and keep refrigerated or even frozen for a healthy grab-and-go lunch. (Hint: If you already have a cleaning lady, ask her if she can do your meal prep. It might be less expensive than you think!)
Clean out your pantry
Take an hour and clean out your pantry. Toss out everything that is not healthy and doesn’t serve you on your journey. If it’s not there, you won’t eat it. It’s that simple!
Be ready to workout….always!
What’s one of the most common excuses why people skip their workouts? Right! “I don’t have time.” By creating an environment that will allow you to be ready to workout at any time, you can completely eliminate this barrier from your life.
And here is how:
Find a gym that is close to your work. Most of us work at least five days a week, so finding a gym that is close to our workplace makes total sense. You can swing by before work, after, or even during your lunch break.
Always have your workout clothes in the car. You might not feel like working when you leave the house in the morning. But who knows when motivation strikes, right? So make sure you always have a gym bag in the trunk with everything you need for a good workout.
Work with an online trainer. This is a very good option for those who don’t like a gym environment, who have super busy and oftentimes unpredictable schedules, and who don’t have any extra time to spare. The right trainer will create a program that fits into your busy schedule and that you can do at home, while on a business trip, or even outside.
Your current environment is most likely one of the reasons why you are not in the physical shape you want to be. But YOU have the power to change this. You are in control and able to create an environment that makes healthy living easy and convenient!
Written by: Jen
The Online Personal Trainer for Women
Need some inspiration for your meal prep? Download the Better Mind – Better Body Recipe Ebook: