To Your Health
February, 2021 (Vol. 15, Issue 02)
Excess Weight Hurts Your Heart – Even If You Exercise
By Editorial Staff
Your heart health goes hand in hand with your weight. For proof, look no further than the fact that losing a mere 10 pounds if you're overweight can lower your heart disease risk. For many people, losing weight means exercising to burn extra calories.
That's important, but keep in mind that until you lose the excess weight, your heart's still at risk, even though you're strengthening your heart with all that cardio.
Research findings published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology emphasize this point, suggesting that even people who exercise have worse heart health if they're overweight compared to normal-weight people, regardless of their activity levels. For example, active obese people were approximately twice as likely to have high cholesterol, four times more likely to have diabetes, and five times more likely to have high blood pressure than inactive, normal-weight people.
So, what's the lesson? If you're overweight or obese, dropping the pounds should be your health priority. That can involve exercise, of course, but don't think cardiovascular exercise will be the "cure-all" if you're still carrying excess pounds. Physical activity does not undo the negative effects of excess body weight – although it's an important step in the right direction. Your doctor can help you design a weight-loss program that sheds any excess pounds you may be carrying. Your heart will thank you for it.