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Step Three: Lose Weight to Improve Your Heart-Health!

January 6, 2011

The American Heart Association offers a simple, seven step list to help people live longer, healthier lives. They call them “Life’s Simple7” and they are: Get Active, Eat Better, Lose Weight, Stop Smoking, Control Cholesterol, Manage Blood Pressure, and Reduce Blood Sugar. This time we’ll focus on weight loss.

As we’ve said, the first two steps of getting active and eating better give you the basic how-to’s of losing weight, so now we’ll tell you the why’s!

145 million Americans over twenty are overweight or obese--as defined by a person’s body mass index or BMI. Body mass index assesses your body weight relative to your height. It's a useful, indirect measure of body composition that offers a clear idea of people’s body fat ratio.

Obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease. If you have too much fat — especially if a lot of it is at your waist — you're at higher risk for such health problems as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and diabetes.

Reduce your risk for heart disease by losing weight and keeping it off. The main consideration is to consume fewer food calories than you burn during physical activity. The most dramatic weight loss is achieved by decreasing calories and increasing exercise.

Go to The American Heart Association’s My Life Check to learn more about improving your heart health!