According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 70% of Americans are overweight or obese. If you’re in this group, you may have considered dropping a few pounds. We at South Plains Rural Health are here to tell you that you should commit to this thought.
Dropping even 5-10% of your weight has enormous health and quality of life benefits. The following are just a few.
Reduced risk of chronic disease
Losing just a few pounds can have a big impact on markers of health, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugars. When these numbers are elevated, you’re at greater risk for chronic disease, including heart disease, diabetes, and many cancers. Schedule an annual exam to find out your health status and risk of disease.
Less joint pain
Your joints support you when you stand, walk, or jump. Just 10 extra pounds adds 40 pounds of pressure on your knees, hips, and ankles. Lose a little weight, and you reduce this pressure, giving your skeleton some relief.
When you’re overweight or obese, you’re more likely to suffer from sleep apnea – a condition in which your throat collapses during sleep, interrupting the flow of air to your body. Sleep apnea causes dozens of mini awakenings through the night.
Research shows that if you lose at least 5% of your existing weight when you’re overweight, you sleep better and longer throughout the night.
Improved sex drive and fertility
Losing a few pounds boosts your libido. You’ll stimulate the flow of sex hormones, so you’re more likely to be in the mood in the bedroom. Conditions associated with carrying too much weight, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, or metabolic syndrome, impact your sexual performance – especially if you’re a man.
Women who are overweight are more likely to experience irregular menstrual cycles and ovulation. Obese women have lower pregnancy rates than women of a healthy weight.
Lose a few pounds and undoubtedly, you’ll experience a spike in your self-confidence. You may be more likely to put yourself out there, for dating, for vacations, for promotions or new jobs, for fashion, and for adventure.
If being overweight is stressing you out, losing a few pounds can check this worry off your list. Plus, the activities that promote weight loss – healthier diet, exercise, and good sleep – also help you alleviate stress and anxiety.
Fewer prescription medications
Weight loss achieved with exercise and healthy eating boosts your immune system and overall body function. Your risk of health problems also decreases, and you may reach a weight and health status at which you no longer need as many prescription medications. Less reliance on the pharmacy streamlines your morning routine, your cost burden, and any side effects.