Being obese is one of the leading causes of heart disease!
Obesity is defined as a body mass index of 30 or more. Some people may think that being overweight doesn’t matter because they are not technically obese, but it does have an effect on heart health.

People who are overweight are 50 percent more likely to have high blood pressure or to have high blood sugar, which can lead to diabetes. Obesity is also a big risk factor for high cholesterol.

There are many ways that you can decrease your risk of being overweight. Exercise is one of the best things you can do to lose weight. It is important to get regular physical activity, like walking, riding a bike, or throwing a football around with your family. This will help you maintain weight and also decrease your risk for heart disease.

The Benefits of Losing Weight

Medical complications, certain health conditions, and an increased risk of death are directly linked to excess body weight. We look at some of the medical risks associated with obesity. Obesity has many harmful effects on the human body. While the effects of obesity on mortality are widely studied, less research has been done on the effects of obesity on morbidity. According to the World Health Organization, as of 2014, 650 million adults (aged 18 and older) were overweight, of which 391 million people were considered obese. In the United States alone, obesity is responsible for 19% of deaths. While not all of these deaths are caused by obesity, obesity is a major risk factor for a large number of diseases and health conditions.

COVID-19 Risks while Obese

The CDC reported in the article, “Body Mass Index and Risk for COVID-19–Related Hospitalization, Intensive Care Unit Admission, Invasive Mechanical Ventilation, and Death — United States, March–December 2020” showed that obesity increases the risk for a severe case of COVID-19 associated illness. The likelihood cited was the obesity is related to chronic inflammation that disrupts immune and thrombogenic responses to pathogens, along with impaired lung function.

Difficulty Losing Weight Over 40

The primary difficulty that surrounds losing weight when we reach middle age or older is a loss of muscle mass which in turn slows the metabolism that then burns fewer calories. A loss of testosterone for men decreases energy levels and makes the idea of exercise all the more challenging.

But, there is hope!! A favorite line from an amazing movie, Shawshank Redemption is, “Get Busy Livin’, Or Get Busy Dyin’.” Nothing is truer when you hit middle age and the answer to having more energy is to expend more energy. You MUST exercise in order to get more energy to exercise. It’s a crazy irony but it’s completely true.

Moving from the couch to a level of activity is difficult. As stated before, muscle loss burns fewer calories, and vice versa, building muscle increases your metabolism and burns more calories. So go for low-hanging fruit and exercise the larger muscles daily (legs, arms, abs). If you do nothing else, start there. Once you start momentum takes hold and add more and more exercise as you can.