The dangers of carrying fat around the stomach
The belly is the most dangerous place to carry fat because it could become visceral fat which gathers around the body’s organs. According to Dr. Kristen Gill Hairston, the build-up of this fat causes “increase inflammation in the body, leading to Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.”
How to know whether stomach fat is visceral
According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, if you are a woman and your waist measures 35 inches or larger or a man with a waist measures 40 inches or larger, you are at risk for health problems from visceral fat. If you’re worried that you might be carrying visceral fat around your stomach, there’s a quick test you can do…
Professor Susan K. Fried explains that “if you lie on your back, and your fat doesn’t stick up, it’s probably just under the skin, if it sort of sticks up and looks like you’re pregnant, then it’s likely visceral.”
How to prevent stomach fat
Exercise is the obvious answer, but more specifically aerobic exercise. If you have not exercised in a while, or have limited mobility, expecting to suddenly undertake high intensity may be a bit unrealistic. So perhaps start with a gentle form of aerobic exercise, such as walking, with a modest target. And do not forget that brisk walking counts towards our recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. We are told that for fitness and weight loss we should be aiming for 10,000 steps a day, but this is something that you may want to build up to.
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These figures, based on the average weight of UK men and women, show how many calories you can expect to burn. You may be surprised how many calories walking burns!
What pace should I be walking at?
The idea is to push yourself so that you are gradually improving or maintaining your fitness without overexerting yourself. A tip to finding the right balance is to aim to reach a pace where you would be unable to sing, but still be able to speak. If you feel as though you may need to push yourself a bit harder, Active 10 is a free app that is great for tracking your pace.
Joining a walking group is a great way to stay motivated; making exercise something to look forward to rather than a chore. Make new friends, or get existing friends to join you, as you explore your local area. One You Cheshire East coach Katie leads our walking group Tuesday in Victoria Park at 10am.
If you’re interested in joining a free walking group in Cheshire East you can SIGN UP for our Move More programme.Back to Blog