The Many Potential Benefits of Dropping a Few Pounds
Often, losing weight can be primarily about unhappiness with your physical appearance or with your inability to engage in activities that you love. Those can both be good reasons and excellent motivation for moving toward your ideal weight, but the most compelling reason and the most significant benefit can be the general improvement that weight loss can bring to your health. Let’s look at some of the concrete ways that taking a few pounds off can lead to a healthier you.
- You can dramatically lower your blood pressure—The more weight you’re carrying, the more your heart has to work to pump blood through your body. The lower your blood pressure, the lower your risk of stroke and other heart disease. Studies show that losing two pounds can potentially reduce blood pressure by one point.
- You can also reduce the amount of cholesterol your body produces—When you have too much body weight, it increases the likelihood that you’ll have too much low-density lipoprotein (LDL), commonly referred to as “bad cholesterol.” For every 10 pounds you take off, your body will typically produce 10 milligrams less of additional cholesterol every day.
- You can reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes—When you carry unnecessary weight, your body can store fat in and around organs, such as your liver or pancreas, causing insulin resistance (where your body does not produce the insulin you need). Losing weight can alleviate or eliminate insulin resistance and reduce the risk of diabetes.
- Losing weight will ease the burden on joints and connective tissue—Obesity is one of the primary causes of knee, leg, hip and foot injury and pain, including osteoarthritis. Losing weight reduces the pressure on your lower body, which reduces the likelihood of inflammation and chronic pain. It’s estimated that every pound you carry increases the load on your knees by 4 pounds. Accordingly, a 5 pound weight loss can reduce the impact on your knees by 20 pounds.
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