Healthy weight loss and weight management can have lasting benefits that go far beyond a trimmer waistline and lower number on your scale. If you’re in need of some fresh motivation to keep you on track with regular exercise and healthy choices, consider these less obvious perks of shedding pounds.
1. BETTER SLEEP & SILENT NIGHTS
Being overweight can be a contributing factor to sleep apnea, which isn’t much fun for anyone involved. If you have it, not only does it put you at risk for serious conditions like high blood pressure, but it makes it nearly impossible to get a good night’s rest because it leads to difficulty breathing while sleeping. Sleep apnea sufferers are also prone to persistent loud snoring, which is disruptive to both their slumber and anyone unlucky enough to be sleeping in the nearby vicinity. Losing 10 percent of your body weight may improve symptoms of sleep apnea. Plus, getting a solid night of shuteye helps keep you feeling rested, less stressed and ready to tackle your weight management regimen.
2. KEEP YOUR MIND AS SHARP AS A TACK
In addition to helping you lose weight, regular exercise has also been shown to keep your thinking, learning and judgement skills on point as you age. Plus, emerging science suggests a link between what you eat and your brain health. Healthy foods that are part of the Mediterranean diet, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, olive oil and whole grains, may show particular promise.
3. THE BEE’S KNEES: KEEP YOUR JOINTS GOING STRONG
Added weight brings extra pressure, which can make existing joint pain—especially around your knees—even worse. Some experts estimate that every pound of added weight puts about four extra pounds of pressure on your knees, which means a person who is 10 pounds overweight exerts about 40 pounds of extra pressure with every step. That’s a lot to ask of two of the most important joints in your body. Being overweight also heightens your chances of developing osteoarthritis—the most common form of arthritis—especially in your knees. The good news? According to the Arthritis Foundation, even just small amounts of weight loss can lower that risk. Incorporating a glucosamine supplement into your diet program may help support your joint health as you work to drop excess pounds.