Whittle Your Middle for a Healthy Heart

Having an apple shape, where fat sits around your waist, can be risky for your heart. Dennis Bruemmer, MD, PhD, tells us the best ways to ‘whittle your middle’.

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CLEVELAND – Did you know that having an ‘apple’ shape – where fat sits around your middle – is risky for your heart?

In fact, recent research shows too much belly fat could increase your risk of suffering more than one major cardiovascular problem.

The good news is that there’s a well-known way to whittle your middle – exercise.

“Be active, be outside, try to do 30 minutes of aerobic exercise,” said Dennis Bruemmer, MD, PhD, of Cleveland Clinic, who did not take part in the study. “And aerobic means, not just walking the dog, it’s actually having to sweat.”

According to Dr. Bruemmer, as your waist size rises, so do your risks for heart disease, hypertension and type 2 diabetes.

Waist measurements over 40 inches for men and over 35 inches in women are most concerning.

Dr. Bruemmer recommends 30 minutes of moderate, or high-intensity exercise at least five days each week to lose weight.

Power-walking, swimming, cycling or aerobics are all good choices.

He adds that a healthy diet plays a role as well.

“We encourage the Mediterranean diet – fruits, vegetables, grains, lean meats,” said Dr. Bruemmer. “So, try to engage in a healthy lifestyle, follow with your physician and be active, I think that’s the best advice we can give.”

Dr. Bruemmer also recommends skipping processed and fast foods, and reducing alcohol intake for a healthy weight and heart.

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