The metabolic syndrome is a combination of medical disorders that, taken together, increase a person's risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
The syndrome affects a high number of people, especially in the developed countries where the number of overweight people is quite high. The list of symptoms includes insulin resistance, high blood pressure, being overweight with fat deposits mainly around the waist, high cholesterol (triglycerides) and elevated levels of uric acid.
Recent research quoted by the Journal of the American Heart Association showed that a very good way of decreasing the risk of developing the metabolic syndrome is to perform moderate to higher levels of cardio fitness on a regular basis. The basic cardio exercise that anybody can perform is a half an hour of brisk walking five days per week. This is about as easy as it gets if you want to enjoy a moderate level of cadriorespiratory fitness in your life and keep away heart problems and diabetes.
While it's true that the genetic make-up determines the individual fitness levels, regular cardio training can lower the risk of metabolic syndrome even in people who are predisposed to develop this condition. Naturally, the move vigorous the exercise, the higher the benefits. Walking is good if you're not willing to try very hard. Swimming, biking, jogging or hiking are even better for you as the heart gets used to more effort and builds up endurance. Exercising also lowers cholesterol levels and helps burn fat.
The study quoted by the prestigious magazine showed that men who chose brisk walks had 26 percent less chances of developing the metabolic syndrome, while men who were highly fit had lowered their chances of developing the syndrome by more than 50 percent. The figures for women were 20 and 63 percent. As you can see, even going for a walk five days a week gives you a better chance against the metabolic syndrome.
As any doctor can tell you, the main treatment for the metabolic syndrome lies in changing a person's lifestyle. Unhealthy food has to go from the regular intake, while the daily schedule has to make room physical activity. Some drugs may be used for a separate treatment of the conditions that make up the metabolic syndrome, but the emphasis on caloric restriction and physical exercise is universal when it comes to the overall treatment.
The bottom line of the study is that promoting higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness by means of frequent exercising among the members of a largely sedentary population may be the best preventive strategy for dealing with the metabolic syndrome.
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