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Potbellies and Stroke Risk

By — One of many Circulatory blogs on SmartLivingNetwork.com

A stroke can happen anytime and anywhere. As people become more health conscious, they raise their awareness of the various risks that are linked to strokes. One of the most common conditions that can lead to heart disease and/or stroke is being overweight. In fact, having that extra poundage around the belly is a dangerous situation for many reasons.

Weight and Strokes

As weight rises, strain is placed on the entire body. Unnecessary stress builds on your bones and joints, and in your blood flow. Eventually, the pressure interferes with the efficiency of several bodily functions. The results are higher cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as the increased risk of diabetes. How do the negative effects of being overweight prevent the heart and blood vessels from staying healthy? An ischemic stroke takes place if the blood vessels supplying the brain are somehow blocked. When blood cholesterol levels are too high or low, damage can be done to the blood vessel walls. Other problems occur when the heart has to pump blood harder, placing the blood vessels under even more pressure. For people with diabetes, nerves and vessels can be damaged since they cannot easily control their blood sugar levels. Recently, a study was conducted to test the connection between weight and the possibility of an ischemic stroke. The study showed that overweight people not only have a higher percentage for a stroke, but also risk permanent disability and a reduction in their life expectancy. Depending on the amount of extra weight a person has, the risks can be anywhere from 22 to 64 percent higher than in those who maintain a normal weight.

Exercise and Stroke

Without a doubt, exercise is an essential part of avoiding stroke and diseases. A cardio workout will improve the efficiency of the heart and lungs while protecting the blood vessels. And physical activity helps you stay in the healthiest weight range. If a person has a potbelly or they are obese, there is a good chance that they do not exercise very much. The lack of movement combined with the excess weight is another reason why they are at a risk of a stroke. Smoking and eating unhealthy foods only drives the risk up more. To make matters worse, overweight people usually have decreased energy levels. This makes it difficult for them to find the motivation needed to exercise regularly. The cycle continues as they become heavier and less motivated. Finally, the blood vessels become too damaged and serious consequences are suffered. Therefore, the best way to ensure that you are not adding to the danger of having a stroke or developing heart disease is to watch your diet and exercise the recommended 30 minutes a day, four to five days per week, so that you never put on the extra weight. If you or someone you know is already at risk because of their weight, consult with a physician and take the steps to reduce the pounds gradually. It is important that the weight is not lost too quickly from unhealthy actions, such as starvation.

Sources:

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63426Z20100405

http://www.southeastmissourihospital.com/content/greystone_2675.htm


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