Heart health is extremely important, as heart disease is one of the number one killers of people in the United States. But even if you eat right and exercise, if you're carrying extra weight, it's a bad thing for your heart. Here are three reasons why your heart is struggling more when you carry extra pounds.
Carrying excess weight tends to increase inflammation in the entire body. This is due to a combination of chemicals emitted by the fat itself and the body's response to those chemicals. While inflammation is usually an attempt by the body to take care of itself, the long-term effects of inflammation can cause strain on the entire body and can even help to (temporarily) narrow arteries and veins. This can force the heart to raise its blood pressure in order to circulate blood efficiently.
It might come as a surprise, but overweight people actually have more blood than those who are a normal weight. It might seem like a good thing to have additional blood, but at the end of the day, it means more work for your heart.
Having more blood means that the heart has to beat more often in order to circulate all of your blood. The heart can only handle so much blood per beat, so it increases its BPM to compensate. However, a higher resting heart rate can increase your risk of developing heart disease, so unfortunately, extra blood really isn't a good thing.
Last but not least, carrying extra weight tends to induce sleep apnea, a condition where the airway partially or fully closes during sleep. When this happens, the body has to struggle in order to breathe again and the heart loses valuable oxygen. Heart attack and stroke risk both rise with sleep apnea, especially when the sleep apnea is not treated sufficiently. Thankfully, losing some weight can often reverse this condition entirely.
Of course, if you suspect that you might have sleep apnea - which typically is confused with heavy snoring - you should seek treatment immediately, whether or not you need to lose weight.
Losing weight can make a huge difference in your health and may very well be the difference that keeps you from developing heart disease. If you're worried about your health and want to do what you can to protect yourself, then take steps to start losing weight today. Your body is relying on you to do the right thing.
To learn more, contact a clinic that offers a weight loss program.