A poll of 1,012 Americans found that 47% percent of women say they've gained weight "due to COVID restrictions." Most said they put on one to nine pounds, but 21 percent says it's more like 10 to 20. For middle-age and older women that compounds health problems that may appear post-menopause.
A new study based on data from more than 10,000 women ages 45 to 85, published in Menopause, says that the incidence of metabolic syndrome increases with age (post-menopause) and affects around 38 percent of women ages 60 to 79. That means they have three or more of a cluster of five conditions: central obesity (that's belly fat), high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar and triglycerides, and lowered heathy HDL cholesterol level. The syndrome raises the risk of heart attack and stroke, diabetes, dementia and some cancers (colon, breast, etc.).
The good news is that lifestyle changes can prevent or reverse middle-age weight gain, defeat metabolic syndrome, erase your increased risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes and help protect you from many cancers. Plus, they can undo weight-gain and moodiness that result from the pandemic's restrictions!
So, indoors or outside, aim to get 300 minutes of physical activity a week. Start with a nightly after-dinner walk; then make it a walk after every meal. Dodge highly processed foods, red meat and added sugars. That way you can make sure that you spend the next decades of your life feeling great and have a much younger RealAge.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit www.sharecare.com.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.