Fitness And Fatness Increase Cardiovascular Risk

Obesity and physical inactivity are both associated with major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including high cholesterol, according to a recent study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Both overweight and physical inactivity are independently associated with cardiovascular risk even in healthy women, suggesting that both “fitness” and “fatness” matter for women’s health. Women with a high body mass index (BMI of 25 or greater), or a low level of physical activity (less than 30 minutes per day of moderate activity), are at a greater risk of cardiovascular disease. However, women at any weight, or with any BMI, have lower cardiovascular risk with higher levels of physical activity. “A woman’s best preventative tool for lowering her cardiovascular risk is to maintain a normal BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 and to meet the current CDC guidelines of two and a half hours of physical activity per week, which could be a brisk walk 30 minutes most days of the week,” says study author Samia Mora, M.D. “A woman’s weight is more closely associated with cardiovascular risk as reflected in cholesterol levels, and as your weight increases, so does your risk.” “However, women who are thin but unfit or have low levels of physical activity may still have high risk. This means that women may significantly improve their cardiovascular risk profile by increasing their level of physical activity, and women who are physically active can lower their risk by maintaining an optimal weight.” Fitness matters for those who are thin as well as those who are overweight. It’s not only weight but exercise that matters. Cardiovascular risk can be reduced by: • Quitting smoking. • A diet low in sodium. • Reducing stress. • Regular exercise. • Maintaining a healthy weight. … Read More

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