We all know that being overweight carries some health risks. The more overweight you are, the greater those risks become. It can certainly be difficult to achieve and maintain an ideal, slimmer weight, but there are some definite advantages to making the effort to manage your weight.
On the physical health side, the benefits are numerous and should be considered the most important reasons to maintain a healthy weight. A healthy weight makes breathing easier because there is less extra fat compressing the ribs and organs.
Being thinner also makes routine activities easier. People who are overweight tend to tire much easier than those who are not. Thinner folks tend to experience less shortness of breath when walking long distances and even while exercising.
Joints that are not forced to support extra weight stay healthier longer. A healthy weight, especially when combined with regular exercise, can mean that your knee and hip joints never degenerate to the point that they need replacing. Your feet also benefit greatly from a healthy body weight. We exert so much pressure on our feet with each step that extra weight can cause degenerative changes in the bones and tissues of our feet.
Heart disease and diabetes are far less common among people who maintain a healthy weight. Given that both diseases lead to a host of other health problems, they should be a top reason for developing the discipline required to eat better and move more.
Maintaining a healthy weight by sticking to a healthy diet and exercising regularly is a great way to avoid both gallstones and kidney stones. Such stones can be extremely painful and might even require surgery.
People who strive to stay at a healthy weight have far fewer problems with back pain. Anyone who’s ever had a sore back knows how limiting that pain can be. Back pain can make mornings harder to face and can make days seem much longer than they actually are. Chronic (long-lasting) back pain can interfere with your quality of life and your ability to easily complete simple activities of daily living.
I think it’s important to note that using diet alone to control weight is okay, but the healthiest bodies are those that maintain good overall conditioning in addition to a healthy weight. Regular exercise combined with a well-balanced diet should be everyone’s ultimate goal.
Of course, accidents, traumatic injuries, and years of the kind of abuse to which athletes subject their bodies can negatively impact our bodies, too, as can simple genetics, but a body that is at a healthier weight will be able to handle these issues better or, at the very least, will not make them even worse.
Maintaining a healthy weight, especially when combined with regular exercise, can help individuals combat depression, or even avoid it altogether. In addition to the physical responses that a healthy diet and exercise trigger, we feel better about ourselves when we know we’re doing the right thing for our bodies and long-term health.
Those who are thinner also tend to face far less negativity from those around them. However right or wrong, many people in our families and workplaces or just “out and about” still judge overweight folks based on appearance alone. This constant negative scrutiny can erode confidence and self respect. Obviously, there are plenty of overweight folks who are perfectly wonderful people, and we know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but it does still happen. Thinner people simply don’t have to deal with as much instantly negative reaction from as many people as do those who are overweight.
All in all, there are certainly a number of things that should convince us all to do a better job of taking care of ourselves, which includes maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise.