If you are a few pounds overweight, losing any excess can make quite a difference to your quality of life. Here, we have all the evidence you need to get the motivation to lose weight and stay active.
Over 50 per cent of adults in the UK are predicted to be obese by 2050. Don’t risk being one of them – motivate yourself to get in the best shape of your life and make a commitment to changing your body!
If you want to get in shape, it’s worth knowing all the key reasons why losing weight will make your life better so that you can remind yourself of why being fit means so much to you. Apart from the obvious reasons like more confidence and better self-esteem, losing weight will also improve your life in other areas. When you have more confidence about your body, that confidence will transcend into other areas of your life. Many women report feeling more confident about asking for a pay rise or promotion at work, or setting themselves new goals and targets in life, such as learning a new skill or tackling a fresh challenge. Being fit and healthy, and body confident, can enhance all areas of your life.
Research carried out by food brand Yokebe found that 60 per cent of dieters who lost weight found that weight loss helped combat feelings of self-consciousness.
Being slimmer and having a healthy body weight also has a significant effect on your health. While most of us know that being active can improve heart health, reduce obesity risk and improve our overall wellbeing, you may not realise how much of a difference it really makes to our health. When you know how significant the benefits are, you’ll be less inclined to skip that exercise session! According to the World Health Organization, regular cardiovascular exercise can:
- Reduce risk of coronary heart disease by 40 per cent
- Reduce the risk of stroke by 20-40 per cent
- Reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 30 per cent
- Reduce your risk of developing breast cancer – according to Cancer Research UK, breast cancer risk is 12 per cent lower in the most active women compared to those who are least active
- Reduce your risk of colon cancer risk by up to 25 per cent
- Reduce your risk of womb cancer by up to 30 per cent
- Reduce risk of dementia by 30 per cent
Regular exercise can improve mental health and wellbeing and also sharpen your mind! The Charity Mind, recommends regular cardiovascular exercise like running, cycling, walking and swimming for mild to moderate depression and in some cases, believes it’s more effective than anti-depressants for mild symptoms. As for your brain power, experts now believe that exercise can improve mental concentration and alertness. A study conducted recently where office workers were encouraged to exercise at lunchtime revealed that they were more productive in the afternoon than non-exercising colleagues.
Less belly fat
Regular cardiovascular exercise can reduce the storage of fat around the waist and belly, leading to a reduced risk of abdominal obesity
Better joint health
Those who do run regularly can expect to have 25 per cent less musculoskeletal pain and less arthritis than those who don’t run
Healthy blood pressure
Around 16 million people in England have high blood pressure. High blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack as it causes a strain on your heart over time and can cause the heart muscle to weaken. Regular cardiovascular exercise can mean your blood pressure will be more likely to remain in the healthy range of 120/80.
Sleep is when your body repairs and also clears out toxins in the brain, so it’s hugely important to get at least seven or eight hours each night. Many people find they sleep better when they exercise and increasingly, experts believe that getting enough sleep can have a positive effect on overall brain health. There is some evidence to show that a lack of sleep or prolonged stress can cause cognitive impairment (when a person has trouble remembering or learning new things or making decisions). It is also believed that lack of sleep can have a negative effect on the hippocampus – the part of the brain that deals with memory.
Exercise can release endorphins, chemicals that give you a buzz and a feeling of wellbeing. And it can also improve your energy levels – not only indirectly, through better sleep, but also in terms of improving blood flow and oxygen to the muscles. According to the website NHS Choices, even a 15-minute walk can boost energy. It can also reduce stress, which in itself, can drain your energy levels.