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Do You Have a High-Risk Waistline?

By Sandy Schroeder

Waistline sizes have been a health topic for some time, but now the news is more dramatic. The apple-shaped big belly threat to the heart seems to be taking over in our culture. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics, a majority of Americans now have waistlines that put their heart and overall health at risk. The average waist for male Americans is now 40.2 inches and women are at 38.6 inches.  

Doctors say this belly fat, the deep abdominal fat that surrounds organs, may increase the fat in the blood and increase blood sugar levels, upping the risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. If your waist measurements put you in the high risk category, it may be time to see your doctor, and take some steps to change the picture.

Tips to Shed Belly Fat

Shed that tummy with an overall approach from Prevention.

Start walking slowly - Then work your way up with changes in distance and speed. If it has been awhile since you have been in the gym, walking is a great way to get up to speed. Start with 10-minute walks before breakfast, during work breaks and after dinner.

Replace body fat with muscle - Full body strength training can help you lose belly fat and keep it off. Start by lifting small weights two days a week, and work up from there. Use a trainer when you start to get the best results and avoid injury.

Tame your appetite with fiber - Reduce hunger with oats, fruits, beans, whole grain breads, legumes and chia seeds. I mix chopped Brussels sprouts into my omelets and top old-fashioned oats with fresh fruit to stay satisfied all morning. Try for at least 25 grams of fiber daily.

Build lean muscle with core exercises - Start with crunches and planks on alternate days a couple times a week. Develop a routine you can do before breakfast, or after work.

Get a handle on stress eating - See a therapist or try yoga or meditation to siphon off the stress and slow down emotional eating. The calmer you become the less belly fat you may have to worry about.

Eat protein before exercising - Avoid that starved-after-exercise feeling by eating about 12 grams of protein before you work out. Overall, try for 70 grams of protein every day.

If these tips work for you, keep on looking for more ways to shed belly fat and zero in on a healthy waistline that you can keep.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Dacula, Ga.

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