Heart Health and Your Weight
Being overweight or obese can lead to a number of heart problems, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, heart attack and heart failure.
How Obesity is Measured
There are 2 common methods that are used to determine whether you are overweight or obese: calculating your body mass index (BMI) or measuring your waist circumference.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
The best ways to maintain a healthy weight are:
- Eat a healthy, lower-calorie diet
- Limit snacks, alcohol and restaurant meals
- Exercise regularly
Eating a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is one that is low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium (salt). Your diet should include lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grain breads, cereals, pasta and rice. Read more about Diet and Nutrition.
Starting an Exercise Program
Your exercise program should include 2 ½ hours of aerobic exercise each week (spread throughout the week in increments of at least 10 minutes). You should also do strength training 2 times each week. Consult with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
Aerobic exercise is any type of activity that increases your heart rate. Some examples of aerobic exercises are walking, jogging, swimming and bicycling. Aerobic activity helps prevent heart disease and other circulatory diseases by increasing the amount of oxygen in your blood and improving your circulation.
Strength training is any type of activity that helps you to build muscle, which increases your metabolism. Examples of strength training exercises are weight lifting, push-ups and using resistance bands.
Weight Loss Assistance
If you need help losing weight, talk to your doctor. He or she will have access to a team of health care professionals at Wake Forest Baptist Health that can help develop a weight loss program that's right for you. The team may include heart doctors (cardiologists), nurse specialists, nutritionists, exercise therapists and others.
Request an Appointment with a Heart Center physician today.