Fat but Fit? Can exercise in overweight people prevent the risk of heart attack?
Can you be overweight but still fit? Does exercise or weight have a greater influence over an individual’s heart disease risk? New research indicates that body weight, regardless of fitness, still has a profound impact on the health of your heart.
The study found that compared to normal weight active counterparts, overweight active women had a 54 per cent greater risk of developing heart disease and obese active women had an 87 per cent higher risk of developing heart disease. Overweight, inactive women had the greatest increased risk overall of developing heart disease. The findings suggest that while exercise is helpful, in order to avoid serious health problems individuals still need to watch their weight.
Excess weight can elevate blood pressure and increase the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. While exercise combats all four health problems it will not nullify the effects excess weight has on your heart and overall health.
The study involved nearly 39,000 women. Women were considered active if they took part in a self reported 30 minutes of moderate activity such as walking or jogging most days of the week, while women who participated in less than this were considered inactive. Weight was evaluated according to Body Mass Index: a BMI of 25 - 30 is considered overweight, while a BMI of 30 or greater is considered obese.