LIFESTYLES by Ronda Gates Weekly Message
Weekly Gems from Ronda Gates.

Where's YOUR Fat?

Fat is stored in fat cells that act much like a water balloon that expands as it is filled and contracts as it is emptied. You were born with a certain number of fat cells. There are several factors that determined their size and location. The primary one is who you chose as parents.

Although all fat cells are filled with the same kind of fat, the fat cells in the abdomen are smaller and more active than fat cells located behind the arms, in the hips and thighs and under the skin. People who carry fat in their abdomen are referred to as "apple-shaped" and hip/thigh fat storers are described as "pear-shaped."

The more active abdominal fat cells release stored fat into the blood quickly. Under stressful conditions that fat is released for fight-or-flight muscle work. If you don't accept the body's natural disposition for fight-or-flight, this abdominal fat gets dumped into the blood stream and flows immediately to the liver where it can be converted into artery clogging LDL cholesterol. Combine this with the increase in blood pressure that accompanies stress and the fact that stress releases fat storing cortisol, and you can see you've potential for a vicious cycle.

Researchers have spent years attempting to figure out at what point abdominal fat puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke. They've come up with a mathematical calculation called the waist-to-hip ratio. Here's how it's done:

1. Using a tape measure (a plastic one that won't stretch is best) measure yourself:

  • at your waist (no cheating--it needs to be within one inch of the belly button) and
  • at the widest part of your hips.

2. Divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement.

3. Check below to determine your risk.

Low risk (pears) < .80
Moderate Risk .80-.95
High Risk (apples) > .95

Low risk (pears) <.70
Moderate Risk .70-.85
High Risk (apples) >.85

If you are at moderate or high risk, meeting the exercise challenge will call on this quick-releasing abdominal fat for muscle work. A five pound FAT loss (that means losing it slowly) can make significant strides to returning you to the good health your body and mind prefers. And, if stress is a big part of your life, raising exercise to the top of your priority list can decrease almost everything--your stress level, your predisposition to make bad cholesterol, your blood pressure and your risk for heart disease and stroke. As a bonus you'll get a clearer head, more energy, better sleep and on and on and on. It's worth it.

Weekly Messages Lifestyles

LIFESTYLES by Ronda Gates
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Mesa, AZ 85206
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