Syndrome X, commonly known as Metabolic Syndrome, is a diagnosis made when an person has three or more cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors. These risk factors include the following:
HDL cholesterol < 40 mg/dl for men, < 50mg/dl for women
Triglycerides > 150 mg/dl
Fasting glucose > 110 mg/dl
Blood pressure >130 / greater than 85 mmHg
Waist circumference > 40 in. for men, > 35 in. for women
Individuals diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome have an increased risk for getting type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which can cause a heart attack or stroke. The best treatment for reducing these risk factors is changing the way you live. This includes changing many aspects of your lifestyle in order to lead a healthier life. The first and most important lifestyle change is physical activity.
Syndrome X Physical Activity Recommendations
Beginning an exercise program is the start to fighting Syndrome X. Aerobic activity is found to be the most effective type of exercise to decrease the risk factors associated with Metabolic Syndrome. A healthy aerobic exercise amount is three times per week for 40-60 minutes each day.
It is a common though that resistance training is also a key component in living a healthier lifestyle. While doing weight lifting is critical to build muscle, it actually does not have good results, when performed alone, to decrease cardiovascular or metabolic risk factors.
So aerobic exercising is a must! Resistance exercise is a possibility, but if you have limited time or are just getting started with an exercise program, focus on aerobic activities. However, adding aerobic activity is not enough to completely get rid of those risk factors. The key to success as stated before is behavior modification, which does not only include physical activity but also a nutrition component.
Syndrome X Nutrition Recommendations
Changing eating habits is by far the most difficult thing to do. Most of us have developed the eating habits we have based on many things like the food we grew up eating, time constrains, and financial situation. Eating healthy all the time is a very hard thing to do, and to be honest with you, I like ice cream just as much as you do. The key to a healthy diet is to eat those unhealthy cravings only in moderation. We all remember the food pyramid, but did you know that no longer is the pyramid recommended? The newest healthy eating suggestion is called My Plate, click for more information.
If counting calories is something that you already do, and you find yourself still having the risk factors associated with Metabolic Syndrome, a healthy start to a nutrition change is a reduction in 500 kcal each day. Decreasing this many calories is a healthy and safe way to diet. If you are like me and counting calories is just hard to keep track of, making a food diary is a good way to figure out what you are eating to find out what you can cut back on.