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Hiking with obesity

Last weekend, together with YOUnite project experts and obese youth involved in the project activities, Zdrowy Ksztalt team took on the challenge of climbing the highest peak in the Karkonosze Mountains, Snieżka, 1603 meters above sea level.

It wasn’t easy, not everyone made it. And not because there was a lack of motivation or desire, uncomfortable shoes, inclement weather or a difficult route. It was the limitations due to obesity-related illness. Rapid fatigue, difficulty catching the breath, high heart rate, aching muscles, sweat running down my body, constant thirst and the need to rest, sitting down. This walk of ours together is an attempt for many to realize how limiting excessive weight can be. It’s an opportunity to think about what can be changed to improve one’s life and take care of one’s health.

The mountain sports activity we implemented is an event aimed primarily at working with awareness. The pace and activities we proposed were tailored to the capabilities of the participants, it was an opportunity to deepen their knowledge about themselves, what they can do. It is a unique experience and observation. Some of the participants did not achieve their goal, despite the desire on their part, but they deepened their awareness of their own weight-related limitations. Participants were a total of 6 experts and 8 people from the target group, aged 20-24, overweight (BMI 25-30). 4 people reached their destination, the others gave up when further hiking proved too much effort and challenge. Those who were much older, but of normal weight, covered the route without much effort.

During the checkpoints, we discussed changing eating habits and physical activity, which, when practiced systematically, gives very good results in terms of fitness, and definitely supports the process of losing weight. For this we used prepared thematic work cards, phones, notebooks, also smartwatches. Such active effort significantly improves mood and reduces stress. It gives satisfaction and the desire to do more. Such group activity not only motivates, but also supports and gives a chance for good relationships.