Let’s be honest, most people want to lose weight to look good naked. And that’s OK as long as it motivates you enough to lose the weight and keep it off. For those who want to draw on another and, perhaps, longer-lasting motivation, here are four very important reasons to have a healthy weight.

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Do it for your joints

According to research, the chance of being diagnosed with osteoarthritis in one knee is 6x times higher and for both knees 18x times higher in overweight people. The problem is that excess fat tissue not only puts a heavier load on your joints but it also increases inflammation and this combination is very problematic for joint health. The good news is that when you start losing weight, you will feel relief almost immediately.

The basics about pedalling technique are: push down on the pedal with the ball of your foot, point with your knees straight ahead, pedal at a cadence of 80 revolutions per minute.

Do it to get a good night’s sleep

Around 50 % of obese people have apnoea compared to only 25 % of normal-weight adults. That’s a big problem because apnoea isn’t just harmless snoring, it means you repeatedly stop breathing during the night for up to several minutes at a time! The increased risk is caused by the fact that more fat in your upper body puts weight on your lungs and reduces the space available to them, plus more fat in your airways makes them more prone to collapsing.

This has a major negative impact on sleep quality and, as a result, also causes hormonal disruption, rapid cell ageing and inflammation. Losing weight improves all of these things at once. In turn, better sleep improves metabolism and your hormonal systems, which makes maintenance of healthy weight much easier. And it just makes you feel better in your skin.

Ideally, you shouldn’t use any electronic devices at least 2 hours before going to bed. That way your body has time to adjust to dark and start producing melatonin. That means no TV, PC, laptops, tablets or mobile phones.

Do it for your immune system

Fat doesn’t just store energy, it’s an active tissue that secretes hormones and cytokines. Cytokines in particular play a big role in modulating our immune response. When there’s excess fat, the chronically high exposure of cytokines can interfere with the body’s ability to spot and stop actual outside infections. There’s a lot of evidence showing that overweight people are at a greater risk of gum, nose, sinus, and stomach infections. Losing weight means less time spent dealing with annoying health issues and more time enjoying life.

Do it to survive surgery and pregnancy

It’s a LOT riskier do undergo any type of surgery for people with excess weight. Studies show that obese people have longer operation times, a higher risk of incisional hernia and catheter site infection, and a higher rate of serious postoperative complications. This is especially worrying because obese people are more likely to develop health issues that require surgery.

Lots of brands produce cycling clothing for pregnant women, so feel free to add some sportswear to your maternity wardrobe!

Pregnancy is a very similar situation. Obese women require Caesarean sections in 50 % of cases compared to only 20 % of cases of the general population. But even with vaginal birth, obese women often have to have more instruments and medical procedures involved and are at a higher risk of various pregnancy complications.

The bottom line is that looking good is a great reason to start your weight-loss journey but as you realize just how much healthier and better your body feels when you lose weight, those other reasons make it worth maintaining a healthy weight.

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