What is Metabolic Syndrome?

Having at least 3 of the following heart disease risk factors is called Metabolic Syndrome.

  1. Waist size greater than 35 inches for a woman or 40 inches for a man.
  2. Elevated Triglycerides. (fats circulating in the bloodstream)
  3. Lower than recommended High Density Lipoprotein (LDL, good cholesterol)
  4. High blood pressure.
  5. Pre-diabetes or diabetes.

Any one of these conditions alone puts you at risk for cardiovascular disease. Any additional condition greatly increases your chances of developing cardiovascular disease.

Can exercise help?

The short answer is YES!

Moderate to vigorous endurance exercise for at least 150 minutes per week will:

  1. Along with a healthy diet help with weight management.
  2. Have a positive effect on Triglycerides and Cholesterol.
  3. Help lower your blood pressure
  4. Help control blood sugar.

Aerobic Exercise

Exercise that increases your heart rate and breathing rate. At least 150 minutes per week of moderate or at least 75 minutes of vigorous exercise or a combination of moderate and vigorous exercise is recommended. Exercise at least 3 days each week. Exercise can be done in one session each day or in multiple short sessions. If you cannot do this much exercise, especially when you first start exercising that is OK. This is amount of exercise is recommended but any amount you do will improve your health.

Exercise at least 3 days each week and ideally 5 to 6 days each week. Exercising most days of the week helps you take advantage of the blood pressure and blood sugar lowering effects of exercise.

Aerobic or endurance exercise is one important part of your cardiovascular disease prevention strategy. Adding resistance and flexibility training will provide even more benefit.

Resistance Exercise

Resistance training has been found to provide further health benefits to overall improvements in health in addition to those from aerobic training alone.

Exercise for all upper and lower body major muscle groups 2 to 3 days each week. You can perform resistance training on consecutive days but not for the same muscles. Allow at least 48 hours rest between exercise sessions for each muscle group.

Flexibility Exercise

This is most effective after your resistance or aerobic training sessions when your body is warm.

Balance / Agility Exercise

Anyone can develop difficulties with balance but it is more common if you have a chronic disease that affects the nerves or blood vessels in your feet and lower legs. Balance exercises can decrease your risk for falls and injury in day to day activities. Activities such as climbing a ladder, standing on one foot to put your pants on, or getting in and out of a boat require considerable balance and agility. There are many ways to improve your balance skills such as standing on one foot, doing exercises on a wobble board or BOSU ball, Tai Chi, or yoga. Balance exercises should be done at least 2 to 3 days each week.