Obesity and Heart Health

February is National Heart Month 2018 and a great time to evaluate your current health status and determine if you are at risk for developing heart disease, a collective term referring to a host of cardiovascular conditions. While many are buying bags of candy hearts why not take the time to think about your actual ticker and determine if there are healthy steps you can take that could save your life in the long run. Did you know that cardiovascular disease claims the lives of more than 600,000 Americans each year? This means that 1 out of every 4 deaths is due to heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart disease does not care about your gender. It does not consider the color of your skin. For some, it a genetic predisposition that causes disease and for others, it is a culmination of lifestyle choices. You cannot control your age or heredity nor can you determine your gender. You can, however, amend your lifestyle in a way that promotes heart health and longevity.

What Causes Heart Disease?

One of the biggest factors contributing to the development of heart disease is weight. Anyone with a body mass index of 30 or above falls into the obese range and close to 70% of Americans are considered overweight and/or obese. Obesity contributes to heart issues because the condition can contribute to high levels of triglycerides. Those who are obese also tend to have higher levels of LDL, low-density lipoprotein and lower levels of good cholesterol, HDL, high-density lipoprotein. There is a link between high levels of bad cholesterol and heart disease. However, this is something that, for most individuals, can be improved with a lifestyle change. If your cholesterol levels are high, work with your doctor to establish a plan to reduce the numbers. This may include more physical activity, dietary changes, and even medications. The important thing is to know your numbers and then do something to address them.

Many obese patients often live an inactive lifestyle. One of the recommendations for preventing heart disease is to move more, around 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. If you have not been active for quite some time due to your weight, this can be challenging. However, the most important thing is to just start. Set small goals that will provide you with a feeling of victory and build upon them each week. Walking is a great activity to get you started. Ask for help if necessary, just do not give up on yourself.

Establishing and maintaining a healthy weight is vital when it comes to heart health. If you are ready to make a lasting change, please contact Advanced Surgical and Weight Loss Institute today. We specialize in bariatric surgery in Melbourne, FL and would love to help you on the road to success.