Why Slimming Down is a Matter of the Heart
February is all about the heart - and not just in romantic terms. It's also American Heart Month, a nationwide observance aimed at spreading awareness of cardiovascular disease and health. And among the top matters of heart health is weight loss.
Researchers with the National Institutes of Health recently reported that reducing your daily calorie intake and dropping as little as five to 10 pounds cansignificantly boost cardiovascular health in multiple ways.
First, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can take pressure off your blood vessels. The primary function of the blood vessels is to supply the heart with the blood it needs to keep pumping. Excessive weight, however, places stress on your vessels because the resulting fat forms plaque inside them, clogging your coronary arteries and increasing your risk of heart attack.Losing those extra pounds can help to keep your blood vessels clear of fat and plaque, promoting easy flow of blood to and from your heart.
High blood pressure resulting from extra weight burdening your blood vessels also can lead to the formation of blood clots. If left untreated, blood clots can make their way to your heart, lungs or brain and prove fatal. Slimming down reduces your risk of forming these potentially deadly blood clots.
Finally, fat that collects around the belly and heart can significantly harm your cardiovascular health. In a 2011 study published in the journal Cardiology, researchers concluded that participants who were not
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