Waist Circumference for men and women has been garnering a lot of attention these days. Recent reports have shown that a high waist circumference is a huge risk factor for health issues like heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, some forms of cancer, and stroke.
So what exactly is a healthy waist circumference for men and women? Let’s take a closer look at the issue, risk factors, measurements, as well how to decrease the number.
Doctors say that a waist circumference above thirty-nine inches for both men and women is a warning sign that you may be insulin resistant. Insulin resistance is a precursor to type 2 diabetes, which is a metabolism disease that can lead to death. It is one of the fastest growing diseases in America. Type 2 diabetes is a disease that is caused mainly by poor eating habits and lack of physical activity.
Another reason a high waist circumference is dangerous is due to elevated levels of visceral abdominal fat. This is the type of fat that is produced by the liver. It is then transformed into cholesterol and released into the blood stream. This is dangerous because the cholesterol forms plaque that sticks to the walls of the arteries. This excess plaque is the reason why people with high amounts of visceral abdominal fat suffer from increased rates of hypertension, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
One of the reason’s waist circumference has received so much attention is that health experts are realizing it may be a bigger warning sign of health related issues to come than overall body mass index (BMI) readings. Various studies have shown that waist circumference is particularly important when it comes to certain demographics including Hispanics, African Americans, and Asian Americans.
Correctly measuring your waist circumference is easy. The first step is to locate your hip bone. You then take a tape measure and snugly wrap it around your hip and abdomen. The tape measure should be snug but not compress into the skin. Compressing the tape measure into the skin will give an inaccurate reading of your waist circumference. You want to make sure you are in a relaxed position and not holding your breath, sticking out your stomach, or holding it in. The tape measure should not be at an angle.
Women who have a waist circumference of a minimum of thirty-five inches are at risk. Men with a waist circumference of at least thirty-nine inches are also considered at risk. This measurement does not depend on height, age, or weight. A measurement of these proportions in combination with a BMI of 36 or above is particularly dangerous. If you’re not comfortable with measuring your waist circumference, have a friend or spouse to provide assistance. It is important that you get an accurate reading because it is such an important number.
There are several ways you can decrease your waist circumference. The best ways to do this is through eating a healthy diet and increasing your physical activity. Some people try to starve themselves to reduce their waist circumference. This is not a healthy decision. Doctors recommend that you never decrease your calories below 1,200 per day. Going beneath this level may result in the body not getting enough vitamins and nutrients to operate properly.
Waist circumference can also not be reduced by spot training the abdomen. It is really a body fat issue. Body fat is decreased by eating a healthy diet and doing at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 3-5 times per week. The result is that body fat, including dangerous visceral fat, will be reduced. It should be noted that if your waist circumference is at an unhealthy rate you should see your physician or health care provider right away. They may want to run a battery of tests on you to measure things such as cholesterol and blood pressure. They may even prescribe some prescription medication.
Although you should visit your health care provider, do not wait on them to prescribe a magic pill. You need to change your lifestyle through exercise and diet. These changes in behavior will help you to lower your waist circumference resulting in a dramatic decrease that you may suffer a serious health condition.
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