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Metabolic Syndrome

Learn the basics of this little-known syndrome that occurs predominantly in overweight and sedentary individuals, and is linked to a number of cardiac risk factors.

How Metabolic Syndrome Affects Cardiovascular Fitness

How Metabolic Syndrome Affects Cardiovascular Fitness

According to some studies, as much as 25 percent of the American population now has metabolic syndrome, a complex of symptoms that place a person at much higher risk for heart disease and diabetes.

I'm Dr. Caroline Cederquist, giving you the Skinny on Your Health.

Most people who have metabolic syndrome are overweight, but new research shows that losing weight isn't the only way to alleviate it. A long-term study of more than 7,000 women classified them not by weight but by levels of cardiovascular fitness.

The group with the lowest cardiovascular fitness had more than three times the metabolic syndrome of even the next group up! This showed that even minor improvements in cardiovascular fitness could dramatically reduce the dangers of metabolic syndrome, whether or not actual weight loss was ever pursued or achieved.

And the best part? The researchers said that fitness improvement could be achieved by just increasing daily lifestyle activity-using stairs instead of elevators, running the vacuum daily or regularly walking the dog-even without a formal exercise program.

Given the dangers of the metabolic syndrome, such a minor effort clearly offers a big payoff.

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