What & Why
- It's no secret that maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for overall well-being, and one area where it plays a significant role is heart health. Let's understand why.
- Excess weight, especially when it accumulates around the abdomen, can increase the risk of heart disease. That is because the fat distribution around the abdomen signifies the amount of visceral fat- or the fat around internal organs. Excess visceral fat can lead to conditions like high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and insulin resistance, contributing to heart health concerns- all together termed as the metabolic syndrome.
- Furthermore, carrying excess weight can strain the heart, as it has to work harder to pump blood throughout the body. Over time, this can weaken the heart muscle and increase the risk of heart-related complications.
- Now that we understand the connection between weight and heart disease let's talk about some symptoms that may indicate potential cardiovascular concerns related to weight.
- It's important to note that heart disease symptoms may not always be apparent, especially in the early stages. However, common signs can include shortness of breath and chest pain or discomfort- especially on mild exertion, heart palpitations, and fatigue. If you experience any of these symptoms, seeking medical attention promptly is crucial.
- If you're concerned about the impact of weight on your heart health, there are several steps you can take to reduce your risk and improve your overall well-being. Let's explore some treatment options.
- Firstly, adopting a healthy lifestyle is key. This includes maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Be mindful of portion sizes and limit your sugary and processed foods intake.
- Secondly, regular physical activity is crucial. Engage in exercises that suit your fitness level and preferences, such as walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling. WHO recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week.
- Prioritize getting enough sleep. Aim for seven to eight hours of quality sleep each night, as poor sleep can contribute to weight gain and increase the risk of heart disease.
- Manage stress effectively. High levels of stress can lead to emotional eating and unhealthy lifestyle habits. Consider incorporating stress reduction techniques into your daily routine, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or engaging in hobbies you enjoy.
- And don't forget the importance of regular check-ups with your healthcare provider. They can assess your heart health, evaluate your risk factors, and provide guidance on maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle.