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[October 2019] A Major Threat to Health: Abdominal Obesity
Date 10-01-2019 14:46 Hit447
A Major Threat to Health: Abdominal Obesity

Abdominal obesity is a result of excessive abdominal fat buildups around and on internal organs. Not only does it compromise physical attraction and functions, but it is also a path to various health complications. Here are some of the lifestyle changes and exercises we must adopt to reduce and prevent abdominal obesity.

What Causes Abdominal Obesity?

When we take in more energy through food than we use, the leftover energy or caloric intake builds up in the body, first in the form of increased subcutaneous fat, and next in the form of visceral fat. Abdominal obesity is a result of the excessive formation of this visceral fat. It is generally defined as a state in which one’s waist measurement amounts to 80 to 90 percent of one’s hip circumference.
Leading causes include excessive intakes of refined sugars and animal fat, as well as drinking, smoking, and lack of exercises. The risks of abdominal obesity rise more during menopause when the testosterone (for men) and estrogen (for women) levels begin to decline. In particular, it is common for women to experience sudden increases in their waist measurements during and after menopause.
Abdominal obesity should be feared for the various health risks it invites. It increases risks of hyperlipidemia, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Being overweight in general also increases the risks of arthritis and injuries in the knee.

Lifestyle Changes

- Avoid eating red meat rich in saturated fatty acids. But proteins are important, especially as we age, to build and maintain our muscles. It is therefore best to stick to lean meat.

- Avoid carbohydrates. Refined carbs, in particular, are a shortcut to abdominal obesity. Replace starch with fiber-rich whole grains and other similar substitutes.

- Increase the portions of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.

- Replace part of your protein intakes with soy products, such as cheonggukjang (rich soybean paste) and tofu, so that you get enough proteins of plant origins in your diet.

- Eat three meals a day, but in reduced portions. If you think you already have a case of abdominal obesity, you should cut down to two-thirds of what you usually eat.

- Increase exercises. In order to prevent abdominal obesity, work out for 30 minutes to an hour at once three times a week. If you already have abdominal obesity, exercise for an hour every day.

Firming Up the Abs

Running: Jog for 30 to 60 minutes every day. It is important to run vigorously enough to feel your belly and visceral fat shake, rather than walking. If running is too difficult for you, walk as quickly as you can.

Leg raises: Lie on your back on the floor. Let your arms and hands lie next to your sides and hips. With your knees straightened, raise your feet from the floor by 30 centimeters, and maintain them raised for a certain period of time. Your ankles should be in a 90-degree angle from your feet. Start by repeating these leg raises for 20 seconds at a time. As you get better, increase the exercises to 30 laps for 30 seconds at a time.

Advanced leg raises: This is similar to standard leg raises, but you need to raise your legs all the way up so that they are in a 90-degree angle from your torso. Slowly lower your feet from the highest position to the level 30 centimeters above the floor. Repeat this exercise 50 times a day.

Half-crunches: Do the crunches, but by raising your upper body by only 30 degrees in angle from the floor. Exhale when you raise your body; inhale when you lower it.