For those who have an excess amount of weight, special attention should be paid to where this weight is located. If the fat is collected on the abdomen, there may be an increased risk of negative health effects present. While abdominal fat was once thought of as only being a storage mechanism, it is in fact far more dangerous than fat allocated to other locations of the body.
Abdominal fat becomes more of a factor as individual’s age. As the ratio of lean tissue to fat begins to shift, fat storage begins to occur more often in the abdomen and upper body instead of other areas. Since abdominal fat is located inside the body, it begins to pad the tissue between the organs potentially resulting in many different health concerns.
Why is Abdominal Fat So Bad?
There are a number of reasons that the abdominal fat cells are bad for the body. First among these is that they are active cells, meaning they actively produce hormones and other substances in the body. Two of the hormones produced by these cells are adiponectin, which affects the body’s response to insulin and leptin, which dampens a person’s appetite.
Abdominal fat cells also actively excrete cytokines into the body. Cytokines can cause mild inflammation in the abdomen and have been linked to an increase risk of cardiovascular disease, partially due to an increased resistance to insulin. Increased insulin resistance weakens the response of the body’s muscle and liver cells to the levels of insulin that would otherwise be considered normal for the body.
How Does Insulin Response Affect the Body?
A weakened response to insulin will raise the glucose levels of the blood, raising the risk of diabetes. A higher insulin resistance combined with other factors such as high blood pressure and improper cholesterol levels also raise the likelihood of stroke and coronary disease. Reducing the abdominal fat present can have significant health benefits that may otherwise be life-threatening.
What Can Be Done For Abdominal Fat?
Luckily, abdominal fat is readily treatable for those willing to make the effort. Regular exercise at a moderate to intense level of physical activity, combined with a dietary change, can help to bring abdominal fat under control. Those who would prefer it may also attempt to curb their abdominal fat through a strength-training program.
One important note is that spot training the area, such as by doing sit-ups, will not actually help to reduce abdominal fat. While it may improve muscle strength and create a better looking abdomen, the actual fat can remain behind and still be a threat to over-all health. Even significant corrections such as lipo-suction will not be able to remove enough abdominal fat to remove the health risks of the cells.
The only way to adequately protect health is with exercise through a dedicated workout program that contains a nutritional component to insure the body receives the right amount of nutrients and proteins it requires.