While the scales are usually the first port of call when it comes to finding out your weight taking a tape measure to your waist is an imperative part of keeping your health in check. Blamed on “the middle age spread” or “gravity taking it’s toll” a tubby tummy can be joked about and easily dismissed, but unfortunately that pesky spare tire isn’t just annoying, it’s dangerous too.
Carrying too much weight around your middle doesn’t just make your trousers tight, it increases your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Fit4mum founder Melissa Lorch explains more.
It sounds simple, but many people measure their mid section wrong.
“It’s not your trouser line you measure,” explains Melissa. “Use your belly button as a guide instead and make sure that when you wrap the tape around your waist you keep in line with it. On top of that be honest with yourself and don’t pull the tape too tight.”
“For females you need to try and make sure your abdominal circumference is 80cm or less,” says Melissa. “If it’s above 80cm but less than 88cm then you are at high risk and if it is above 88cm then you are at a very high risk of getting diet related diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
“For men if your measurement is more than 94 cm you’re at a high risk of health problems and102cm and more is very high risk.”
“Sadly yes,” says the Melissa. “For every inch – 2.5cm – increase in waist size blood pressure increases by 10 percent, blood cholesterol by 8 percent. HDL, the good cholesterol decreases by 15 percent. Metabolic syndrome risk increases by 18 precent. That’s a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. Having all three puts you at greater risk of heart disease, stroke and other conditions affecting blood vessels.”
“If your numbers are on the high side don’t panic,” says Melissa. “You’re not alone.”
Thats too true unfortunately. In 2016 40% of men and 30% of women were categorized as being overweight and 26% of men and 27% women were obese.
But Melissa says you can change this. “It’s preventable, curable in fact. The most important thing is that you do something about it. Making healthier food choices and doing regular physical activity is the key. Adults should aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise a week.
Exercise definitely doesn’t cut it alone though. Someone once told me “abs are made in the kitchen” and it’s true. You need to look at what goes into your body and be honest with yourself. Make a food diary, look at it and change it. Remember that small changes can make big differences.
Did you find this article interesting? You might like to read about The Incredible Benefits of Barley Water and How to Make Your Own and Why Yoga is More About Stress Relief Than Having a Great Body.