How Your Space Affects Your Health

Americans are fat. This is no real surprise. We’ve known for years that far too many in the US are overweight and obese. Startlingly, more than 40 percent of adults are too heavy. We also know that being obese is incredibly dangerous. The latest facts about colon cancer indicate that cancer is one of many diseases that obesity can increase our risk for. That list also includes other killers, including heart disease.

Space

We know we need to change, and we want to. But, frustratingly, our efforts to curb the obesity epidemic in America have only had limited success.

Why we fail

Why is do we fail? Many experts believe that the answer can be found in the nature of lifestyles and habits. Diets and exercise plans tend to fail, these experts explain, because they are temporary measures. We might commit to a new way of eating or exercising for a while, but we aren’t really making these changes permanent. They’re unsustainable, and we soon return to our old habits.

That suggests, of course, that the key to getting healthy and staying that way can be found in the same places: our lifestyles and our habits. This is why experts recommend that you choose to eat in a sustainable, healthy way (and keep doing so forever), rather than make more drastic short-term changes to lose weight fast.

Understanding habit loops and making careful, sustainable changes can be key to slimming down and staying healthy. But there’s another factor to consider: your space.

How your space shapes your life

You may not realize it, but the layout, size, shape, and even the location of your home has a serious effect on the way you live. Experts agree that we respond to our environments, and our home is one of the most important environments we encounter. After all, it’s where we lay our head at night and where we wake up in the morning.

It stands to reason, then, that making changes to your home can help you make changes to your waistline. And, in fact, that’s the case.

How to shape your home (so that it shapes you)

How much time do you spend outside? How much time to you spend exercising? If you’re not satisfied with the answers to these questions, you may want to take a closer look at how you manage and make use of your outdoor space.

Getting a pool can encourage you to get outside and exercise more, say the pros behind a swimming pool contractor in New Jersey. Making use of outdoor space with such an installation encourages us to get outside and move around. The same person who might never use a YMCA membership might take a dip every morning, simply because it’s so convenient. That’s good news, because swimming is incredibly good for us, and it’s a low-impact exercise that we can continue to enjoy for years to come.

Your kitchen is another hotspot for home habits. Consider the ease with which you move around your kitchen, cook, unload groceries, and eat. A kitchen that makes it easy to cook and eat at home can remove some of the temptation to grab fast food on the way home from work or go out to eat at a restaurant, where portions and rich food can really affect our weight. You can even create a “wellness kitchen” in which health goals are the purpose behind the design.

Don’t stop there! Keep looking at your home. Think of ways to encourage movement and flow (as well as limit couch-potato time). Find ways to tempt yourself into your own outdoor space. Your home has a profound effect on your life, and you have the power to make that effect a positive one.