Managing Cardiometabolic Risk in Abdominally Obese Patients
Physical Activity and Exercise
- 1Key Points (1 page)
- 2Exercise and Cardiometabolic Risk (2 pages)
- 3Exercise and Abdominal Obesity (3 pages)
- 4Exercise and Insulin Resistance (5 pages)
- 5Exercise and Atherogenic Dyslipidemia (4 pages)
- 6Exercise and Elevated Blood Pressure (3 pages)
- 7Exercise and Thrombosis (3 pages)
- 8Exercise and Systemic Inflammation (3 pages)
- 9References (1 page)
- Physical inactivity is the most common cardiometabolic risk factor and the easiest one to eliminate.
- Up to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity endurance exercise on most days of the week can significantly reduce abdominal fat, intra-abdominal (visceral) fat in particular (~30%).
- Both an acute bout of exercise and chronic endurance exercise can significantly improve insulin sensitivity. The effect is equal to or greater than that achieved with pharmacotherapy (~20% improvement with acute and 30-85% improvement with chronic exercise).
- Regular endurance exercise can lead to modest but significant improvements in HDL cholesterol (~5%) and triglyceride (~15%) levels. It has less of an effect on LDL cholesterol levels. The lack of change in LDL cholesterol may be misleading, as physical activity can produce a beneficial increase in LDL particle size from small to large.
- While regular, moderate-intensity endurance exercise can reduce the risk of cardiovascular events by improving an individual’s hemostatic and fibrinolytic profile, intense acute exercise may trigger myocardial infarction, especially in at-risk individuals, by inducing a hypercoaguable state.
- Endurance exercise has consistently been shown to modestly reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by ~4 mmHg in lean, overweight, hypertensive, and normotensive patients.
- Although acute exercise can cause elevated systemic inflammation, regular endurance exercise of fairly vigorous intensity appears to reduce levels of inflammatory markers by ~30%.
- Although the metabolic improvements achieved through regular endurance exercise are generally greater when body weight is reduced, increasing physical activity can dramatically improve intra-abdominal fat, insulin resistance, lipid levels, and blood pressure, even when body weight does not change.