Obesity, Pollution Elevate Your Heart Attack Risks

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February 16, 2006 | 8,412 views

The obese are at greater risk of heart attacks when they are exposed to pollution from sources such as diesel exhaust or power plant emissions.

Exposing Rats to Pollution

A study on the subject compared obese, insulin-resistant rats with normal rats.

Both groups were exposed to particles collected downstream of a power plant. On the second exposure, the obese rats' arteries contracted directly and "very strongly." The reaction was dramatic enough to surprise some of the researchers.

Problems Making Each Other Worse

Exposure to small particles is often associated with disease. The problems of obesity, for example, are increasingly affected by the external environment. The study's evidence of a direct link between the dangers of obesity and pollution is another indicator of the growing health risk posed by both problems.

You don't have to be a medical or scientific researcher to understand that  pollution -- even tiny amounts of it -- can be devastating to your family's health, especially ones who haven't been born yet. The damage pollution does to your health is even worse when you are overweight.

With the epidemic of obesity getting worse by the minute, along with the air we breathe, it's vitally important for you to take control of your health today by making some common sense lifestyle changes, and staying away from quick-fixes like gastric bypass and useless, toxic drugs as a form of control for your weight loss problem.

If you're willing to make changes and are trying to decide where to begin, please understand this important principle:

Eating the right diet based on your body's unique nutritional type and getting the proper amount of exercise are both vitally important to your abilty to address any current chronic health conditions you struggle with or achieve optimal health.

Remember, the foods that may be healthy for others are not necessarily healthy for you, and vice-versa. Thus, eating according to your specific type is the proven way to ascertain which foods work best for you.

Also, controlling your insulin levels is important to optimize your health. You see, when you eat grains and sugar your insulin levels increase. When insulin levels increase, you are telling your body to store carbohydrates as fat and to not release any of the stored fat. (This makes it impossible for you to use your own stored body fat for energy.)

So the excess carbohydrates in your diet not only make you GAIN WEIGHT, they make sure you keep that weight on. By cutting grains and sugars from your diet, you will not only tame your weight but also fight illnesses.

A daily exercise routine is another main factor in accomplishing optimal wellness.

The key to exercising is to make sure you are using it effectively. By doing so, you will ensure all your hard efforts are not wasted and are having a positive effect on your body. To aid you in your exercise efforts, there are three important variables to exercise to keep in mind:

  • Length of time
  • Frequency
  • Intensity

I encourage my patients to gradually increase the amount of time they are exercising to one hour a day. Initially the frequency is daily. This is a treatment dose until they normalize their weight or insulin levels. Once normalized, they will only need to exercise three to four times a week.

You should exercise hard enough so that it is difficult to talk to someone next to you. When you are exercising that hard your cardiovascular system is under such a significant amount of stress that the mere act of talking makes you unable to provide your body with enough oxygen.

However, if you cannot carry on a conversation AT ALL, then you have gone too far and need to decrease the intensity.

At the same time, as you improve your eating and fitness habits try to reduce your exposure to pollution. Pollution exists not only outside, but also inside your homes, offices, and schools.

Some of these pollutants can be created by indoor activities such as smoking and cooking. In the United States, we spend about 80-90 percent of our time inside buildings, and so our exposure to harmful indoor pollutants can be serious. It is therefore important to consider both indoor and outdoor air pollution.

So please consider indoor pollution as something that you frequently have control over and make careful choices when selecting what you put inside your home or office.

You might want to visit the U.S. government's Web site for many practical solutions on how you can address indoor air pollution.

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