If you think that losing belly fat only serves only to give you a six-pack, think again because a recent study just found out that it will make your arteries stronger.
I don’t want to give a lecture on the importance of having healthy arteries; let’s just remind ourselves that arteries are a crucial part of the circulatory system; which proper functioning is responsible for the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to all cells, as well as the removal of carbon dioxide and waste products, maintenance of optimum pH, etc.
In developed countries the two leading causes of death are heart attack and stroke, and each may directly result from an arterial system deterioration.
In other words, getting a six-pack will most likely make you live longer...not only do a show-off at the beach!
According to the study presented by Johns Hopkins researchers at an American Heart Association scientific meeting in San Diego few days ago, overweight people who shed extra pounds with a significant drop in belly fat, improved the overall function of their arteries.
We already knew that, in general, being overweight increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, but until today we were not aware that such risk increased significantly if the fat was accumulated in the belly above the waist.
In order to evaluate the health of the participants' blood vessels before and after losing weight, the researchers conducted a blood flow test by constricting circulation in the upper arm for five minutes with a blood pressure cuff. With this type of test, when the cuff is released, a healthier artery will expand more, allowing more blood to flow through the artery.
The researchers measured how much blood reached the fingertips before, during, and after the constriction of the artery. And this can give an indication of the overall health of the vascular system throughout the body.
Hopkins researchers found that the more belly fat the participants lost, the better their arteries were able to expand when needed, allowing more blood to flow more freely.
The study proved that the amount of improvement in the vessels was directly linked to how much belly fat the participants lost, no matter which kind of diet they were on (low-carb or low-fat).
As I mentioned earlier the fact that overweight people have a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, is not a breaking news but what I found really surprising in this new research is that the risks are higher if the fat is accumulated in the belly.
So: crunches, planks, squats or else, just make it happen. Reduce that fat on your belly once and for all. Your health in on the line!
The Iron You