Eating well, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight are all prudent lifestyle practices that sometimes fall under the category of “easier said than done.” If they were easy for everyone, there would be no need for New Year’s resolutions or the seemingly never-ending rollout of fad diets and fitness trends.
Many people start each day with good intentions — a healthy breakfast or even packing workout clothes for a trip to the gym on the way home. But then you get invited to a lunch where you overindulge, a co-worker asks you if you want to grab some ice cream, or a work deadline keeps you at your computer late in the day, and you just can’t drag yourself to the gym.
One day turns into two, and then you just can’t seem to find your way back. The pounds add up. If this scenario seems all too familiar or if you’re among the 71.6% Americans age 20 and up who are overweight, the highly skilled practitioners at Cardio Metabolic Institute understand. In this blog, we share our insights about how losing weight positively affects your cardiovascular health.
What is cardiovascular disease?
Let’s first explain what cardiovascular disease is. You’ve probably heard of heart disease — that’s a general term used to refer to all the types of issues that can happen both in terms of functional problems like heart attacks, heart failure, issues with the heart’s valves, and rhythm problems as well vascular issues.
Cardiovascular disease is the most common form of heart disease and defines the collection of disorders that deal with issues with the heart and blood vessels, specifically conditions that cause problems with the flow of blood to the heart.
Why is this so important? Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States for men and women, running across most racial and ethnic groups. Coronary artery disease, or CAD, affects 18.2 million Americans age 20 and older and kills an estimated 365,914 people annually.
Losing weight reduces risk for coronary artery disease and stroke
Being overweight or obese isn’t simply about how you look or how it places strain on your joints. It’s one of the key risk factors for developing coronary artery disease when plaque builds up in your arteries, which can lead to heart attack or stroke.
The good news is that losing weight — even a conservative amount, say 5% of your body weight, can lower your risk of developing heart disease. Gradual and permanent weight loss and reducing your risk for coronary artery disease and stroke may just save your life. Plus, you’ll look and feel great. The ultimate win-win!
Losing weight lowers blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides
With your annual checkups, you probably noticed that it usually includes measuring your blood pressure and running blood work to check for things like your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Your blood pressure measures how hard your heart has to work to pump blood through your blood vessels. When you have high blood pressure, your arteries are blocked or narrowed, putting extra stress on your heart. This can lead to heart failure, heart attack, or stroke.
Cholesterol and triglycerides are lipids or fatty acids in your blood. If these levels get too high, it can result in hardening of the arteries and put you at risk for stroke, heart attack, and heart disease as well as chest pain. Fortunately, losing weight can also lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Losing weight mitigates heart disease risks for diabetics
Another important way your weight impacts your heart health is that it can help prevent heart issues in people living with diabetes. Diabetes and heart disease are closely related.
The effects of high blood sugar can damage the nerves that control your heart as well as damage your blood vessels, both of which can lead to heart disease. However, if you’re overweight, you can mitigate your risks by losing weight, eating a balanced diet, and staying active.
At Cardio Metabolic Institute, we believe permanent weight loss results with gradual weight loss that happens when you make lifestyle changes. We guide clients through a multidisciplinary approach to weight loss with physicians, dieticians, fitness experts, and counselors.
Take the first step to a healthier you today. Book a weight-loss consultation at Cardio Metabolic Institute in Somerset, Monroe Township, or East Brunswick, New Jersey. For an appointment at the office nearest you, click or call today.