A too-thick waistline, especially paired with high levels of a particular fat in the blood called triglycerides can greatly increase your risk of developing coronary artery disease. Triglycerides are both produced by the body and ingested through the food you eat.
High triglyceride levels can increase your risk for heart disease and are more common among inactive people with larger waistlines. Normal triglyceride levels are below 150 mg/dL. The risk of developing coronary artery disease doubles when triglyceride levels are above 200 mg/dL.
Triglycerides are called the hidden fat because they are too often overshadowed by the highly publicized LDL bad cholesterol.
However triglycerides are above 200 mg/dL and “good” (HDL) cholesterol is below 40 mg/dL, a person is at four times the risk.
The good news is that a study at Duke University Medical Center has produced some surprising and encouraging results. Moderate aerobic exercise like walking a half hour at least five days a week can signicantly reduce the triglyceride levels in the blood as well as boost your HDL (good cholesterol). Burning 200 calories or so on that half hour walk doesn’t hurt either.
The study also showed that more intense exercise did help with belly fat but produced only half the triglyceride lowering results.
So my recommendation is: consult your doctor, find your triglycerides level and get clearance to exercise.
If it is elevated and belly fat is not an issue do moderate aerobic exercise like brisk walking or cardio dance. If you also have extra belly fat, consider adding strength training exercise every other day to help your body burn more fat.
Don’t over do it. Ease-in. Start with a few minutes a day of something fun. Pleasure is the key to sustainability.
Couple this with a low fat diet and moderate alcohol consumption and you’ve got a recipe for better quality of life and maybe even a longer one.