The Midsection Matters
Many women may notice an increase in belly fat as they grow older, especially after menopause. Hormonal changes, age-related weight gain, and heredity may be to blame. No matter the cause, abdominal fat can be particularly unhealthy when compared to fat in other areas of your body. Excess belly fat can increase your risk of disease including some forms of cancer. The good news is healthy lifestyle changes can help you lose or even prevent the belly bulge!
When a person’s shape is characterized by thin limbs and a wider mid-section it is sometimes referred to as an “apple” body shape. With this shape, fat will accumulate deeper in abdomen surrounding the abdominal organs. Also known as visceral fat, it has been linked to:
|Heart Disease||Breast Cancer|
|High Blood Pressure||Diabetes|
|Gallbladder problems||Colorectal Cancers|
Don’t “Waist” Time!
Measure your middle! Researchers have found that measuring your waist circumference will tell you if you have an unhealthy amount of belly fat. When measuring your middle, run a tape measure around your midsection always making sure to keep the tape at about the level of your navel. For most women, a waist measurement of 35 inches or more indicates an unhealthy amount of abdominal fat. Be sure to ask your doctor for this measurement when you go for your next physical.
Battle the Bulge!
Adopt these healthy lifestyle changes to help you lose those inches around your middle!
Aim for at least 30 minutes a day of moderate-intensity exercise such as walking, biking, aerobics, rollerblading, or any activity you find fun! Burning calories from exercise will help to shrink belly fat. Always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program.
• Strength Training!
Exercising with weights and resistance bands can help you build muscle which will, in turn, help burn additional calories. Sign up for a weight training exercise class or schedule an appointment with a personal trainer at a local gym to learn ways you can incorporate more strength training into your exercise routine. You can even purchase an exercise video and resistance bands for strength training in the comfort of your own home.
• Healthy Diet!
Like it or not, as we age, we usually require less calories than when we were young, active, and had a faster metabolism. Less calories mean we need to adopt some healthy lifestyle changes:
- Practice portion control
- Limit your intake of saturated fat, trans fats and sodium
- Avoid empty calories by watching added sugars
- Read nutrition labels
- Have a diet rich in: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean meat, fish and poultry