Are You Carrying Dangerous Fat Around Your Midsection?
Carrying dangerous fat around your midsection or extra inches on your waist has been shown in countless studies to increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
New studies show that if you have a high waist-to-hip ratio (meaning you carry more fat around your waist than on your hips), you may be at greater risk for hypertension, diabetes and many other cardiovascular health problems.
Waist-to-hip ratio is being used more often by doctors in preference to Body Mass Index (BMI) as a better measurement of the risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease. Click on my other blog post here to see what is your body mass index.
To find out what your waist-to-hip ratio is, use this simple formula. Without clothing, first measure your waist at the smallest circumference of your natural waistline, which is just at or above your belly button, then measure around your hips at the widest part across your buttocks.
Next, divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement to get your ratio and see where it falls in the chart below depending on male or female (the following chart is used by the Mayo Clinic):
It is possible to carry fat in your midsection, as well as on your hips, and although the ratio is normal, you actually have fat in both places. So, it’s best to look at the waist-to-hip ratio and BMI together to determine if you’re in the normal range for both.
Now that you have your personal numbers and know if you’re at risk, what should you do? Be sure to always consult with your doctor before starting any fitness and weight loss program.
Here are some basic recommendations to follow to if you’re carrying dangerous fat around your midsection:
- By increasing your general level of activity (such as walking, biking, taking the stairs, parking your car out farther, etc.) and specific types of exercise, you can affect your fat distribution and decrease your risk.
- Exercising and sports will help burn off the most calories and tone muscles throughout the body. To gain a firm abdomen and reduce your midsection circumference to a degree, specific exercises will tighten the core abdominal wall muscles, but if your body is still storing fat, that will continue internally behind the abdominal wall.
There is the saying that ‘abs are made in the kitchen’. If you want a smaller midsection, you must have a healthy diet in addition to exercising, which includes eating a balance of certain food groups, vitamins, and minerals.
- When your goal is to decrease your midsection measurement and decrease your weight, one way to simply understand it is this, you must have more calories being burned daily with exercising, than the calories you’re consuming daily. You’ll also need to exercise 3-5 times per week to reach your fitness goal.
If you think you’re carrying dangerous fat around your midsection and are looking to decrease your numbers and improve your overall health, I’d love the chance to work with you and help you reach your health and fitness goals. Click on the Time For Change Personal Training Services tab above to see how I can help you get started today.