Losing weight for a healthier life is not simply a matter of opinion. Medical studies are beginning to show that individuals who lose weight have a decreased chance of developing diabetes or heart disease. While these are two of the biggest factors impacting overweight people in the United States, there are a myriad of benefits for losing weight.

Here are just a few of the benefits to consider:

  • Prevent diabetes
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Improve sleep related issues
  • Decrease chronic pain

Even starting slow and small can have significant health benefits. Begin to add exercise into your daily routine in small ways. Go for a short walk outside or wear a pedometer while doing household chores. New MyPlate initiatives from the USDA offers easy to follow guidelines for eating a healthier well-balanced diet.

Many chronic pain conditions are also related to joints in the lower back that can be aggravated by carrying excess weight that the body is not designed to handle. Not only can losing weight take pressure off of this area of the body, but increased activity will strengthen muscles that help support those joints. This type of chronic pain can also affect your sleep quality and many individuals who have taken steps to lose weight and get healthy have also noted better sleep patterns.

Heart disease and diabetes also often go hand in hand.

Heart disease affects individuals with diabetes twice as often as those without the condition. Increased cholesterol levels and higher blood pressure can be indicators of a risk for heart disease. Obesity, especially around the waistline, is also a key factor. Women with a greater than 35 inch waist and men whose waist measures over 40 inches are at a greater risk for heart disease.

Taking steps to lose weight and maintain a healthier, more active lifestyle may be critical. Think about small changes you can make today that can lead to bigger changes in the future.

What concerns do you have about weight loss in your life?

Image by martinvarsavsky via Flickr 

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