Losing body fat via regular exercise and improved eating can deliver some obvious, visible changes quite quickly; looking slimmer, increase in muscle and a boost in confidence as you’re hitting your goals.
However, weight loss benefits go much further than outward appearances. Here are some of the amazing hidden changes that happen inside your body as you lose weight, all of which can have a lasting positive impact on your health.
Reduced joint pain
Carrying extra body weight means added pressure on your joints, especially your knees and hips, which can lead to aches and pains. Exercise also boosts the production of synovial fluid, the body’s ‘oil’ which lubricates your joints.
Don’t let joint pain hold you back from exercising as it could help relieve it and improve how you feel. Unless you have an underlying injury or problem as diagnosed by a doctor which requires a customised plan, you can build up your exercise slowly and focus on strengthening your joints. Even regular walking is proven to help weight loss journeys and can help you discover this hidden benefit of weight loss.
If you have any concerns about joint pain you can speak to your doctor or get some ideas for manageable exercises from a member of staff or a PT.
Reduced blood pressure
High blood pressure becomes more common as we get older and can increase your risk of heart attacks and strokes, this risk increases in adults who are overweight. Exercise could make a big difference.
Regular physical activity makes your heart stronger. A stronger heart is able to pump blood with less effort, decreasing the pressure on your arteries, lowering your blood pressure and potentially the need for medication.
Losing excess weight also helps lower blood pressure. You can expect to see a one-point drop in systolic pressure (the top number on a blood pressure reading) for every two pounds you lose. Maintaining a healthy weight and regularly exercising helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
Reduced risk of diabetes
Weight gain increases your risk of developing diabetes as the extra weight around your waist means fat can build up around your organs, including your pancreas. This can cause insulin resistance, where the insulin your body creates doesn’t work properly leading to increased blood sugar levels. If left untreated, this can lead to serious health problems.
Losing weight reduces the risk of you developing Type 2 diabetes, and if you have already been diagnosed, could even put you into diabetes remission.
It’s important to say, getting Type 1 diabetes has nothing to do with weight. However, losing weight can reduce your risk of complications and could mean injecting less insulin.
Rest is so important to our overall health and wellbeing but it is often taken for granted until it starts to evade us.
The likelihood of developing sleep apnoea, especially within men, increases almost proportionally to your BMI. Excess fat around the neck can cause air passageways to narrow, impacting airflow. This can cause breathing problems, including stopping breathing whilst asleep before the body jolts awake. For some sufferers, this occurs as many as 60 times per hour each night without them really knowing, leaving them feeling severely fatigued.
Weight loss can help reduce sleep apnoea symptoms and improve sleep quality and quantity to make it more restorative, ensuring we are fit and ready to take on another day.
Improved mental wellbeing
For many, our weight is linked to how we feel.
Losing body fat can have a huge positive impact on mental health and wellbeing. Improved self–esteem and confidence, more positive body image and greater quality of life all contribute to how we feel about ourselves and how we interact with others. These positive benefits of weight loss also act as a counterbalance, reducing the risk of returning to previous eating and exercise habits so we maintain health and happiness.
Although moderate exercise such as walking is safe for most people, we advise you to talk to your GP before embarking on a new exercise regime, especially if you have an underlying health problem or injury.
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