Having that ‘spare tire’ around your mid-section is not just affecting your appearance, but men with belly fat need to know that it is a risk factor for many life threatening diseases.
Though not as exact as Body Mass Index or BMI, the simple measurement of the waist can be a fairly accurate indication that you may be at risk. The risk factors for diseases such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease and sleep apnea dramatically increase once the waist size has eclipsed 40 inches. You can determine your waist size by wrapping a measuring tape securely around your mid-section just above the hips and then exhaling. The measurement when you exhale is your true waist size.
As we get older we lose muscle and build muscle at a slower rate. The loss of muscle, in turn, slows down the rate at which we can burn calories. Fat often replaces the muscle we did have and begins to work its harmful effects on the body. The only option is to exercise more or take in fewer calories.
It’s not just the size of the waist that is the problem, but what the fat in that area is doing to the body. Belly fat stimulates the release of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol, at higher levels has been associated with high blood pressure and diabetes. Belly fat also put pressure on vital organs in the abdomen. This will inhibit their ability to work well and in essence suffocate those organs.
It’s never too late to adjust habits and lifestyle to fight off bad health and lose fat. It does take more than a few sit-ups though. While targeted exercise like sit-ups and crunches will help build muscle, eating well and exercise like walking, running and other cardio will go further to help eliminate excess weight. The Department of Health and Human Services has recommended a minimum of two and a half hours per week of moderate aerobic exercise.
Getting rid of the belly fat can make all the difference in a long and healthy life.