HEALTH & FITNESS
Fighting Middle Aged Spread
A new study has found that compared to overweight or obese individuals, people who carry fat around their tummies have a higher mortality risk.
So if you have signs of middle aged spread, it could be bad, even if you are not overweight.According to a recent story in the Science Times, researchers analysed and compared the total and cardiovascular risks of participants from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey with various body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio combination. "If the waist is larger than your hips, you're at increased risk for disease," says obesity specialist from Washington University School of Medicine Samuel Klein.
An apple-shaped figure (fats concentrated on the abdominal area) is considered more dangerous than pear shape (fats settle on the hips and below). Waistlines greater than 100 centimetres in men and more than 90 centimetres in women pose a greater risk. But, there is some good news. Experts say there is something you can do about it.
1. Choose a healthy diet. Avoid processed food, eat meat in moderation and increase your vegetable, grain and nut intake. Try the Mediterranean Diet.
2. Take up regular cardio exercise. Studies show that you need to get out and get moving for around 50 minutes, 3 times a week or 30 minutes, 6 days a week.
3. Add some weight resistance exercise to your routine. Anything that helps improve muscle mass. Studies show that increased muscle mass can have protective effects against heart attacks and diabetes.
4. Try deep breathing and take up Yoga.
Choosing just one won’t work alone, but with concentrated effort, you might be able to change that “beer belly” or that overhanging verandah into the semblance of a six pack. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking!