You might hate your belly fat because it makes you feel old or have to dress in baggier clothing to hide it from view, but what’s even more concerning is how dangerous it can be for your health. Here are 7 reasons you need to hit the gym and get rid of it ASAP.
- It affects your organs. The fat you accumulate around your midsection is different from fat elsewhere on your body. It’s much more sinister. The reason is that it seeps deeper down into your organs, where it can put you at risk of disease by prodding and pressing into them. Yikes. In fact, belly fat is even more important than your body mass index (BMI) when it comes to putting you at risk of various health problems.
- It secretes fatty acids. Your belly fat actually releases fatty acids into your liver. There, these acids can disrupt the organ’s functioning and ability to break down insulin. Over time, this can lead to diabetes. According to Dr. Oz, you can tell you’re at risk for diabetes because of too much belly fat by doing a quick mathematical calculation. Take your height in inches and divide it in half. Now check your waist size. If it’s more than half your height, you’re at a greater risk of getting complications from belly fat, the most common one being diabetes.
- It disrupts your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is too high, you’re at risk of getting heart and other health problems. Belly fat actually releases cytokines into the body, which are chemicals that affect the cells’ ability to regulate blood pressure. Yikes. This means that over time, those chemicals can lead to health conditions associated with high blood pressure, such as strokes or heart disease. And to think it can all start with a sagging middle. Who knew?
- It puts you at risk of cancer. It’s scary to think that some cancers are linked to bad eating habits. The World Health Organization states that 30% of cancers are associated with eating a diet that’s unhealthy. That’s the same diet that probably gave you your belly fat to begin with (beer, we mean you!) so you can see how the problem snowballs into something much scarier. The good news, of course, is that you can minimize your risk of some cancers just by losing your belly fat!
- It can give you sleep apnea. This is a condition in which your breathing is disrupted while you sleep, which can lead to serious health conditions such as heart attacks or strokes from the lack of oxygen. A Japanese study that was published in the American Journal Of Respiratory And Critical Care Medicine found that there’s a strong link between visceral fat (the fat around your belly) and obstructive sleep apnea in men. Disrupted sleep is unhealthy in a variety of ways, so if your belly fat’s getting between you and a decent night’s sleep, it’s got to go.
- It can make you less energetic in the sack. You might be strong elsewhere in your body except for your middle, but it’s actually your core muscles that help you gain the ability to have longer sex with your girlfriend way more than your thighs or biceps. That means you need a strong belly to have increased energy and strength when trying out all those interesting Kama Sutra positions. And let’s not forget: having a slim waistline will also make you feel more confident, giving you the mental energy to perform at your peak in the sack.
- It can kill your erections. Another part of your sex life that can take a backseat from belly fat is your erection. There’s a strong link between heart disease and the ability to get and maintain your erections. As research by Harvard points out, an erection can’t happen if there’s something disrupting the blood flow to the penis. So, by having too much fat around your middle, you not only risk getting heart problems that minimize blood flow around the body but also erectile dysfunction from a lack of circulation. It’s time to dust off your gym membership or take up football again, don’t you think?