Feeling cranky? Losing weight could help lift your spirits!


Every year, you vow that this is the year you’re going to shed those 10 extra pounds. Sure you know that generally speaking, it’s good for your health, but let’s explore why specifically losing weight can benefit you and your body.

Losing weight – particularly by incorporating exercise into your weight loss plan, can:

1. Decrease your risk for heart disease – As little as a 5% reduction in weight can lower your blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol, thus lowering your risk for coronary artery disease, the main cause of heart attacks.

2. Decrease your risk for certain cancers – Exercise provides some protection against breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer. Physical activity also reduces the severity of pain, fatigue, muscle stiffness, and weakness, both during and following cancer treatment.


3. Ward off Type 2 diabetes – individuals with a normal body mass index are much less likely to develop type 2 diabetes

4. Put you in a better mood – Regular exercise has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Aerobic exercise, in particular, is believed to be as effective as antidepressant medication over the long term.

5. Improve your sex life – including an improved stamina, a better body image, and a decreased risk for erectile dysfunction.

6. Allow you to play with your kids – or your grandkids – more easily. (It also sets a good example for them)

7. Help you live longer – and better – due to decreased incidence of chronic and inflammatory diseases which otherwise result in premature death or prolonged illness and disability.

8. Help you fit into those clothes you already own – or give you a reason to buy the clothes you’ve wanted to buy.

9. Improve your chance of getting pregnant – women who are overweight or obese can experience estrogen receptor resistance which can affect their menstrual cycles and ovulation, making it more difficult to conceive.

10. Let you have more fun – Physically fit people can more easily travel, dance, and stand for concerts, for example, without having to worry about being short of breath or having joint pain.

To receive maximum health benefits, the goal is to exercise for 30 minutes at least 5 days per week. Yard work, brisk walking, sports, and dancing all count towards this fitness goal. It is not necessary to join a gym or purchase expensive equipment to get healthy. The best type of exercise is one that you enjoy and can do consistently. It is important to check with your physician prior to starting any exercise program, especially if you are at risk for coronary heart disease. Once you are cleared for takeoff, get off the couch and get moving!

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