Excess abdominal fat has been known to put men and women at increasedrisk for developing a variety of conditions, including cardiovascular disease,type 2 diabetes, certain cancers and other debilitating disorders. With more physicians noting the connectionbetween the two factors, a variety of research based lifestyle programs havearisen to assist patients in reducing abdominal obesity.
A recent study released at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress showedthe effectiveness of high-intensity interval training programs had whencombined with the Mediterranean diet in regards to tackling abdominalobesity. While many diet plans and nutritionalchanges have been noted to affect positive change in weight, the Mediterraneandiet has been studied the longest which was why it was referenced in the study.
Over the course of nine months, participants in the study lost anaverage of eight centimeters from around their waist and experienced a drop inoverall blood pressure as well as an improvement in aerobic fitnessperformance. Other heart benefits ofcombining the Mediterranean diet and high-intensity interval training includedan overall reduction in body fat mass, cholesterol, and an increased amount ofmuscle endurance. All these factorscombined can add years to a person’s life and improve the quality of theirexistence.
Study participants engaged in the high-intensity interval trainingprogram two to three times per week in addition to nutritional changes. The Mediterranean diet favors an increasedintake in vegetables, whole grains, fish and olive oil, all of which canimprove heart health and lower blood pressure. The longer the participants kept up the program, the healthier theirlives became, showing it’s never too late to start a new nutrition or fitnessregimen.
While the combination of diet and exercise doesassist in reducing abdominal obesity, physicians wanted to remind the publicthat things do not happen overnight. “There is no magic bullet,” advised Dr. Beth Abramsom of the Heart andstroke Foundation. “It comes down tobasics and how we live our lives.”
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