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The Importance of Maintaining a Healthy Weight 

Keeping a Healthy Weight

Looking after your weight isn’t just about the way you look, there are many reasons that it is important to maintain a healthy weight, so that your body can stay healthy and function properly. Being overweight can cause numerous health issues in the long run, so it is important to keep excess weight off to ensure you can be at your healthiest. 

Obesity and Heart Disease 

Your weight plays a large part in the health of your heart, and being overweight can have significant negative effects on your heart health. There are many different ways that being overweight can cause issues with your heart. The first is by changing your cholesterol levels. Being overweight causes an increase in low-density lipoproteins (LDL), also known as the ‘bad’ cholesterol. Having consistently high levels of LDL causes fatty build up in the arteries, meaning the heart is having to work harder to pump blood, and over time this can start to damage the heart. Not only does being overweight increase LDL levels, but it also decreases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, also known as the ‘good’ cholesterol. HDL is important in the removal of LDL from your system, and works to reduce the risk of heart disease, therefore having low levels of this will increase your chances of heart disease. Another way it can cause issues with your heart is by raising blood pressure. People who are overweight require more blood to transport and supply oxygen and nutrients to their bodies. This then causes an increase in blood pressure, which is needed to move the blood around the body. Prolonged raised blood pressure places a lot of extra stress on the heart, which can cause damage, and can even lead to a heart attack. Heart attacks are more common in those who are overweight. Overweight individuals also have higher levels of troponin T in their system. Troponin T is an enzyme that is released by injured heart muscle cells. Studies have shown that those with a higher body mass index (BMI) also had higher levels of troponin in their system, and this is associated with higher levels of heart failure. One of the studies showed that those who were both obese and had high troponin levels were 9 times more likely to develop hearth failure than those with a lower weight and no detectable levels of troponin. All of these different factors show that being overweight can cause significant damage to your heart in many ways. 

Obesity and Diabetes 

Obesity leads to an increased risk of developing diabetes type 2. Obesity is caused by an imbalance in the energy that is being consumed by a person in the form of food, and by the energy that is being used by our bodies. This is usually due to dietary and lifestyle habits. Often those who are overweight are consuming foods with high sugar contents. This leads to excess energy in the body that does not get used, so it is stored as fat, and leads to increased blood sugar levels. While our bodies can process high sugar loads in the short term, it is not designed to do it over a prolonged period of time. Eventually these high sugar levels can lead to insulin resistance, which means that the body can not properly move glucose into its cells. This causes the blood sugar levels to rise, and the pancreas then makes more insulin to try and deal with this problem. This can eventually cause the pancreas to wear out and stop working properly, and the pancreas is no longer able to make enough insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels. This is when type 2 diabetes is developed. This can lead to issues such as frequent infections, fatigue, blurred vision, slower healing times, increased thirst, increased hunger, and frequent urination. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes is significantly higher in those who are overweight, and losing weight is usually an important part in treating those with type 2 diabetes. 

Obesity and Joint Health 

The more weight you carry on your body, the more stress you are placing on joints such as your knees and your spine. A study has been done that has shown that for every extra kilogram of weight you carry, you are actually putting 4 extra kilograms of pressure through joints such as your knees. This excess pressure on the joint eventually starts to cause wear and tear on the joints, and this can eventually lead to degeneration. Degeneration causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in the affected joints, and makes it a lot harder to go about your day. The more extra weight you carry, the more stress goes though your joints, and the faster the degeneration process is going to happen. Losing even just a few kilograms of weight can significantly reduce the amount of stress being placed on your joints, which will prevent wear and tear and therefore degeneration from happening. 

How to Maintain a Healthy Weight

Now that you know the dangers of carrying around too much excess weight, you may want some ideas on how to start losing it. Below are some ways to get you started on your weight loss journey, but if you are wanting extra help, speak to your chiropractor or your GP about the best way to go about losing weight in a safe and healthy way. 

  • Walking – walking is an easy way to start burning energy, and best of all, its free!
  • Swimming – swimming is a great form of exercise, and an extra bonus is that it doesn’t place stress on your joints like most forms of exercise. This is especially useful if you already have some degeneration in your joints and are wanting a lower impact form of exercise. You could also try water walking or water aerobics. 
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables – instead of filling up on fried foods and foods filled with sugar and lots of processing, fill up instead on lots of fruit and vegetables. Diet is one of the biggest factors in maintaining a healthy weight so it is important you are putting good foods into your body. 
  • Watch what you are drinking – things like fizzy drinks, energy drinks, and alcohol all can make you gain weight. Minimising how much of these you are drinking and replacing them with water will help you minimise weight gain, and will help with your overall health!
  • Get enough sleep – if you are struggling to lose weight, you need to make sure you are getting enough sleep, as not getting enough sleep can cause your body to hold on to excess weight.