Measuring your risk of heart disease

If you want to assess your risk of heart disease, skip the scale and take out your tape measure.

If you want to assess your risk of heart disease, skip the scale and take out your tape measure.  Up until recently, much emphasis was placed on weight, or Body Mass Index (BMI), which compares your weight to your height as a risk factor. Now, studies are showing that assessing health risks is less about weight, and more about measurements.

Regardless of weight, people who carry more fat around their abdomen have a greater risk of developing heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, and type 2 diabetes.  Even people with small bellies have an increased risk.

There is some debate as to what waist size you should aim for.  Some reports suggest that men should aim for less than 40 inches, while women should aim for 35 inches.  Other repots set higher standards, recommend 36 and 30 inches for men and women, respectively.  To err on the side of caution- aim for the lower numbers.  To correctly measure your waist, stand and place a tape measure around your middle, just above your hipbones. Measure your waist just after you breathe out (but don’t suck in).  The tape measure should not be snug- but not tight around your waist.

Unfortunately, a few extra crunches or sit ups won’t help much to trim your waistline.  Instead, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise 5-6 days per week.  Power walking, running and strength training are excellent options to shed fat.  Eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, heart healthy fats and lean proteins.  Limit processed foods and adhere to proper portion sizes.

Tanja Shaw is a Kinesiologist and personal trainer, specializing in weight loss, group fitness, pre and postnatal fitness, and health and wellness programs.  She owns Ascend Fitness Coaching, which offers Boot Camps, mom and baby fitness classes and personal training.  For fitness tips go to www.ascendfitnesscoaching.com.

Just Posted

Chilliwack mom gives back to Royal Columbian Hospital NICU with Christmas stocking drive

Ashley Durance is paying it forward to other families and their babies following daughter’s NICU stay

Wild Fishmas event in Chilliwack Sunday for salmon defence

It’s a fish-focused festive fundraiser Dec. 8 at the UFV Indigenous Student Gathering Place

Threats to the Fraser River at a ‘new zenith,’ says river conservationist

The ‘Heart of the Fraser’ should be deemed ecologically significant according to ORC statement

Fraser Valley Regional District administration/government costs set to rise by 18%

Mosquito control and fire dispatch costs also set for increase

Chilliwack passes budget bylaw with 3.32% tax increase

Policing and public safety remain the highest budget priorities for several years running

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

VIDEO: Rockslide closes Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

One of B.C’s last surviving strip clubs baring all again for Christmas charity

25th annual event is Sunday and raises money for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.

Province ‘reinforcing’ new rules for party buses as holiday season approaches

Ministry reminds the public that it’s against the law to consume alcohol, cannabis inside a vehicle

Most Read