Three students from Butler University are on a mission to promote health and wellness. The group has launched a three-step program called InShape Indiana, which takes aim at three epidemics plaguing our country: smoking, opioid use and obesity.
InShape Indiana’s program is designed to help people adopt healthier lifestyles which can reduce the risk of disease and early death.
With diabetes, obesity and drug use being major epidemics in the U.S., the program can help many people shift gears and get back on the right track.
Step 1: Stop Smoking & Fight Opioid Abuse
According to the CDC, 16.7% of men and 13.6% of women were smokers in 2015. Cigarettes are the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the country, and they account for 1 out of 5 deaths.
Opioid abuse is becoming such a major problem that officials are calling it an epidemic. According to ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine), overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Opioid addiction is fueling the epidemic. In 2015, there were 20,101 overdose deaths related to prescription opioids compared to 12,990 heroin-related overdose deaths.
The first step of the InShape Indiana program is to tackle these two major issues by pushing users to focus on alternatives.
The program suggests using vaporizers as an alternative to smoking traditional tobacco. Unlike cigarettes, vaporizers do not produce smoke. These devices vaporize the material – solid or e-liquid – using gentle heat. Users still get the same satisfaction as smoking, but without all of the same harmful side effects.
There are more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco, and at least 70 are known to cause or promote cancer. Vaporizers contain far fewer carcinogens. While not perfect, they are a much healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes.
Many people have been using vaporizers to quit smoking for years. E-liquids can contain varying levels of nicotine, ranging from full strength to nicotine-free. Smokers can gradually wean themselves off of the nicotine while still enjoying the actual act of smoking.
To combat opioid abuse, the program advocates using medicinal marijuana to combat pain. Studies have shown that the compounds in cannabis can be effective at treating pain while reducing the risk of addiction.
Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and DC. It’s also impossible to overdose on weed, experts say, which can dramatically reduce overdose deaths. Vaporizers are the best method for medical marijuana users to get fast relief. In fact, the Volcano Digit vaporizer is approved for medical marijuana patients in Israel.
Step 2: Get Moving
With so many people working desk jobs and spending their free time in front of screens (TV, phones, etc.), fewer people are getting enough exercise each day. Couple that with poor food choices and more Americans are heavier than they should be.
Step 2 of Inshape Indiana’s program is getting moving – i.e. exercising. Adopting a healthy exercise routine will help participants lose weight while gaining stamina and strength.
A routine is adopted gradually to avoid overwhelming and frustrating participants, starting with two days per week and working up to five. Participants may start out walking for one mile two days per week and work up to longer and more rigorous routines over time.
Inshape Indiana also encourages the use of technology tools to motivate and keep everyone on track. Tools like the Motiv fitness tracker ring or Fitbit can help track progress and boost motivation.
Staying motivated can be a challenge, but these tools can help. Finding a workout buddy can also provide the motivation and accountability needed to keep everyone headed in the right direction.
Step 3: Make Healthy Food Decisions
The final step to a healthy life is making the right food decisions. It’s all too easy to make that quick stop through the drive-thru, but making healthy food choices is more rewarding in the long run.
The average household in America spends $3,008 per year on dining out. Not only can dining out lead to you consuming more calories, but it can also put a serious dent in your budget.
Learning how to cook healthy foods and implement health-promoting supplements into your routine, like green juices, can help kickstart your exercise routine.
If you don’t have the time to run to the store, you can even use local organic food delivery services to stay on the right track and avoid processed, unhealthy meals.
The goal is to help people create meal plans that include healthy, unprocessed foods that they actually enjoy eating. Making one small change can lead to bigger changes over time. You can overcome your genetics for be bigger in size or naturally carrying above average weight.
It may be something as simple as adding a serving of greens to every single meal. After a few weeks, the body starts to crave those greens, and they become a staple in the diet. This paves the way to making more healthy food changes. Eventually, it becomes second-nature to eat healthy food. In fact, the body wants healthy foods instead of the sugary, processed and fried foods it craved before.
The InShape Indiana wellness initiative is a much-needed effort to help people shift their focus to healthy living.
It’s easier than ever to avoid exercising and cooking at home. And despite education and awareness efforts, people are still smoking and overdosing on prescription pain pills. InShape Indiana aims to help people: quit smoking, shift to an alternative solution to manage pain, start exercising, and make healthier food choices. All of these changes equal a healthier and ultimately happier life.