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The Effects of Overeating & Not Exercising

By Mala Srivastava

Overeating and lack of exercise may predispose you to a number of potentially serious health problems. According to the World Health Organization, physical inactivity is the fourth major risk factor for global mortality. Furthermore, it is estimated to be the principal cause for 27 percent of diabetes and 30 percent of ischemic heart disease cases. Ischemic heart disease is a condition characterized by reduced blood supply to your heart. Thus, a well-balanced diet and regular physical activity are prerequisites when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle.

Undesirable Fat

Stuffing your stomach with foods, especially processed foods such as French fries, refined grains, processed meats and potato chips, can pack on the pounds. According to the National Institutes of Health, researchers suggest that processed foods may not satiate your hunger pangs as satisfactory as less-processed, high-fiber foods, leading to a higher calorie intake. Some examples of fiber-rich foods include vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Gaining weight becomes all too easy with no or irregular physical activity as your body is unable to process the calories you eat. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, or NHLBI, reports that viewing TV for more than two hours daily has been associated with overweight and obesity. Other reasons for a sedentary lifestyle include: preferring to drive places instead of walking and less physical demands at home or at work because of modern technology and conveniences.

High Blood Pressure

Overeating can also put you at risk for health problems related to being overweight such as high blood pressure, according to the KidsHealth website. Blood pressure is the force or pressure of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood. High blood pressure is when this pressure rises high and begins to damage your body. Blood pressure is measured in two numbers: the first called systolic is the blood pressure when your heart is beating and the second number called diastolic refers to blood pressure when your heart is relaxed. Normal blood pressure is considered to be 120/80 millimeters of mercury or lower. Sedentary people have a 35 percent greater risk of getting high blood pressure than active people do, states the University of Maryland Medical Center. Doing regular physical activity helps keep your arteries flexible, which, in turn, ensures better blood circulation and healthy blood pressure.

A Pathway to Diabetes

A research from Mount Sinai School of Medicine published in the September 2012 issue of “The Journal of Biological Chemistry” discovered that overeating deteriorates brain insulin function, a mechanism that can cause diabetes and obesity. Christoph Buettner, an associate professor of medicine who conducted the study, concluded that overindulgence hinders the ability of insulin to curb the breakdown of fats in adipose tissue. As a result, blood levels of fatty acids are elevated. Increased fatty acids promote inflammation, worsening insulin resistance, which can raise the risk of Type 2 diabetes. According to the NHLBI, physical inactivity multiplies your risk for diabetes. In contrast, moderate aerobic activity can reduce your risk for Type 2 diabetes. Diabetics can benefit from exercise, as it can strengthen the heart, reduce blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.

Your Heart Goes Out of Sync

Gaining too much weight because of overeating may prove a menace to your heart health as it triggers the risk for coronary heart disease, or CHD, and heart attack, notes the NHLBI. This is simply because overweight and obesity lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, high triglyceride levels and high blood cholesterol, which are risk factors for CHD. Research shows people who lead a sedentary lifestyle are twice as likely to suffer from heart disease as people who engage in physical activity regularly, according to the Ohio State University Medical Center. Regular aerobic exercise can help prevent heart disease.

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