Anyone aspiring to lose weight is likely aware that there are no shortage of approaches promising to bust belly fat and slim waistlines. Weight loss fads come and go, but daily physical activity remains a reliable and effective approach to shedding extra pounds.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that physical activity provides both short- and long-term benefits. Among the more long-term benefits of regular exercise is the link between physical activity and how it facilitates an individual’s ability to maintain a healthy weight. Though people may experience some notable initial weight loss after they begin a fitness regimen, they also can maintain that weight loss if they remain committed to exercise over the long haul.

The CDC notes that more physical activity increases the number of calories a body uses for energy. If individuals looking to turn over a healthier leaf couple a commitment to exercise with a healthier diet that includes consuming fewer calories, they can create a calorie deficit that ultimately contributes to weight loss.

The link between exercise and long-term weight loss is clear, as the CDC notes that research has found the only way to maintain weight loss is to remain engaged in regular physical activity. Individuals attempting to lose weight for a particular reason, such as an upcoming wedding or a vacation, should know that exercise and a healthy diet can help them accomplish that goal. However, it’s highly likely they will regain that weight if they do not continue to exercise after reaching their target weight loss goal. If the thought of regaining lost pounds is not enough to compel people to maintain their commitment to exercise, and honor all the hard work and determination required to lose the weight, perhaps a rundown of health risks associated with being overweight or obese might provide the motivation necessary to stay the course.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, being overweight or obese increases a person’s risk for a host of diseases and conditions, including:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Gout
  • Fertility issues
  • Sexual function problems
  • Mental health problems
  • Certain types of cancer, including breast, liver, kidney, pancreas, and ovary

Routine physical activity is a great way to help people shed extra pounds so they can reach and maintain a healthy weight.