61.7% of the UK population is overweight and 24.9% of these individuals are obese! The 20-to-40-year-old age group is the most overweight group in the UK. The fact that 16% of our children are classified as overweight is even more shocking!
Apart from complicated daily activities and movement, obesity and extra weight are detrimental to heart health!
An overweight person requires a heart which is able to pump a larger amount of blood around the body and therefore over time their heart enlarges and becomes thicker. The danger is that the heart essentially loses its ability to relax fully and therefore loses the ability to pump blood to all the body parts.
Extra fat accumulates beneath the skin and causes the visible and undesirable ‘muffin top’ or a ‘beer belly’.
Fat also accumulates in the liver as well as in the heart itself!
A fatty liver leads to problems such as compromised metabolic function and insulin resistance. Most importantly, excess fat in the liver leads to release of the fat particles into the blood, increasing LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood which significantly increases the risk for heart disease.
There is good news – all of this is reversible and in most cases, the process does not even require any medication! All that is needed is to lose weight!
Experts suggest that losing 5-10% of body weight is enough to experience health benefits!
Research at Washington School of Medicine even suggests that these health benefits last even if the weight loss plateaus or if some pounds are regained after the initial 10%!
Heart-healthy benefits of losing weight include:
- Less fat in the liver decreases fat within blood vessels
- Less fat within blood vessels lowers blood pressure
- Thinning of the heart tissue
- Increased ability to pump blood around the body
- Improved ability to relax the heart muscle fully
- Faster blood movement reduces the chances of blood clot formation, lowering the chances of a heart attack
Losing this amount of weight might seem daunting, but let all the health benefits be your motivation instead of the 10% scaring you off!
Do you need help losing weight but do not have the money to hire a personal trainer? Use this the NHS Strength and Flex online guide specifically developed to help you achieve your health goals with the right exercise!
Break off your weight loss journey into smaller and achievable weekly or monthly goals. Celebrate each small milestone and treat yourself to something nice each time – a nice piece of clothing, a day-trip somewhere, manicure, haircut….be creative, the choices for a treat are endless! (Just try to skip treating yourself to food items)
Join our #HeartSmart Facebook group where you can stay in touch with us, as well as other #HeartSmart friends.
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