Reasons to Lose Weight after Menopause
Piling on the post-menopausal pounds can have serious health implications. While research has shown that it's normal and healthy to gain a little weight in midlife, if weight gain after menopause pushes your Body Mass Index into the overweight or obese category, then you should undoubtedly take action to reduce.
Here's what shedding some extra poundage can do:
Reduce your risk of heart disease
Keeping a check on your chances of developing heart disease, THE number-one killer of women over 50, is one of the main reasons to lose any weight you've gained in menopause.
Gaining a spare tyre around your middle puts a strain on your heart, and can raise both your blood cholesterol level and your blood pressure.
You risk developing coronorary heart disease, which could hit you with a heart attack or stroke that in turn could seriously diminish your quality of life or even kill you.
Lower your risk of cancer
One of the most pressing reasons to lose weight that's crept on is to keep cancer at bay.
The Million Women Study, carried out by Oxford University in the UK, followed 1.3 million women. Those with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25-30 were classified as overweight, and those with BMI of 30+ were labelled 'obese'. The study concluded that overweight and obesity cause around 5% of all cancers in women over 50 in the UK - around 6000 cases per year.
Where does the highest risk lie? Being overweight after menopause raises your chance of developing 10 out of the 17 most common cancers.
And between 10 and 20% of cases of these cancers are attributable to overweight:
Cancer Research UK, who funded the study, point up the fact that many people don't realise that being overweight has such a direct bearing on their cancer risk. It's time to wise up.
Reduce your chances of getting diabetes 2
You've probably heard of Type 2 diabetes. It's the black-plague, epidemic-disease of the 21st century and has reached epidemic proportions in the west.
Once known as 'adult onset' diabetes, it now commonly crops up in younger people and children, and is rife in older age groups. Twenty per cent of the North American population aged over 65 are sufferers, along with 2.2 million in the UK - and rising.
Overweight and obesity are the underlying cause of this disease, which raises blood levels of insulin, and creates dangerously high blood-sugar levels. The effects? They can be very serious, including kidney failure, slowed healing of wounds, and heart disease.
Stay active and mobile
There's nothing like carting around the equivalent of a couple of bags of sugar or a sack of potatoes in extra weight to put a strain on bones, muscles and joints.
You can end up with pain in your back and knees and could face difficulty in walking or tackling stairs. The painful condition of osteoarthritis is made worse if you're overweight. Use exercise to keep your weight healthy, and you'll stay fit and active for far longer.
One of the greatest reasons to lose weight is that you're likely to live longer. Heart disease, cancer and other diseases related to overweight all knock your life expectancy for six.
Even so, the people who live longest are the ones who gain a moderate (note that 'moderate'!) amount of weight in midlife. Either a large gain, OR a large weight loss both would affect your chances of living longer.
Look and feel better
Maybe this should be top of the reasons to lose weight after the menopause! A more slender, sleeker and toned body, more energy, generally feeling good about yourself - all of these are benefits of looking for natural weight loss and taking action towards a healthier life post-menopause.
Even if you only shed a little weight, it can make a positive difference to your health and wellbeing. Start now to make small but consistent changes to the way you eat and the amount of exercise you take.
Is it worth it? One look at these reasons lose to weight tells you that YES, it resoundingly is! Start today.
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