11/26/2010 5:53:53 PM by
We all know that the holidays take a toll on our waistlines but how many of us have actually measured our tummies. According to most major public health guidelines, elevated waistlines are one of the outward risks associated of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a clustering of risk factors that are associated with heart disease. These risk factors include elevated blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL or good cholesterol and an expanding waistline. Get out your tape measurer and measure your waist at the level of the belly button. Make sure the tape measurer is straight. If you are a woman, your waist should be less than 35 inches and less than 40 inches if you are a guy. This is one risk factor that you can assess in the privacy of your own home. Track this number like you would any other vital such as heart rate and blood pressure. If your waistline is elevated, reduce your total calories, simple sugars and processed foods. Increase your exercise to 150 minutes per week. Most importantly, visit a registered dietitian who can design a plan to reduce your risk of disease!