Currently, overweightness and obesity are the biggest health problem faced in the twenty‐first century. The major causes of this problem are lack of physical activity and excessive consumption of processed food. Individuals who are overweight typically show abnormal cardiovascular function, and obesity is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Hypertension has been found to occur more frequently in overweight compared to lean individuals and poses a risk for hypertension development in young overweight adults. Obesity has also been found to be associated with reduced life expectancy and sudden death largely through its negative effect on the cardiovascular system. Degradation of a number of key autonomic cardiovascular markers, such as reduced heart rate variability and baroreflex sensitivity, is associated with the development of these lifestyle diseases. Also alterations in the metabolic profile, such as dyslipidemia and hyperglycemia, can lead to impairment in cardiac structure and function. Regular exercise has been widely used as preventative medicine to reverse autonomic, cardiovascular, and metabolic decline. Thus, incorporating regular exercise into daily activity may prevent the development of these cardiovascular diseases and accompanying risk factors.
Part of the book: Fitness Medicine