The waist is basically the area of the abdomen that sits between the hips and the rib cage (or the tapering section of the body that lies above the hips).
In the recent past, scientists have increasingly started to focus on waist measurement as a means of assessing an individual's health and fitness. This is especially after it has been found that the Body Mass Index (BMI) has certain limitations when assessing one’s overall health and fitness. This is because it does not reveal how fat is distributed in your body, whereas a large waist circumference is an indicator of abdominal obesity. This is a pointer that you are prone to developing life threatening conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
There is a body of scientific research that suggests that the information gotten from measuring your waist circumference will say a lot in regard to your health and life expectancy, even after eliminating other factors such as your age, physical activity, BMI, smoking, and alcohol use.
In one research study, it was found that women with a waist measuring 37 inches had an 80 percent greater risk of death than those that had a 27.5-inch waist.
In addition, the life expectancy of the women with the highest waist circumference figures was lower by five years when compared to those with the lowest figures.
Measuring your waist circumference at home
It is very easy to measure your waist circumference at home. All you need to do is to pinpoint your hip bone by feeling your abdomen. You then need to snugly place a measuring tape around your abdominal section at this level (but do not press the tape too much into your bare skin). After ensuring that the tape is parallel to the surface of the floor, read the measurement.
Reducing your waist size
Because the waist has such an important role when evaluating our health and well-being, here are some tips that can help you to reduce your waist size:
Eat a healthy diet
Eating a balanced healthy diet is one of the best ways of quickly reducing your waist size and maintaining it. Keep off foods that contain saturated fats since they cause you to gain weight. Rather than snacking on cookies or French fries, eat energy-packed and nutritious nuts and veggies. Also, ensure that you eat healthy portions-for example you only need to eat a palm-sized portion of rice or chicken.
It is also important to read labels so that you can reduce the calories you eat. For instance, cutting 500 calories from the food you consume daily means you can lose one pound in a single week. To make the waist reduction process painless, you must eat foods with high fiber content. Eating vegetables and nuts will leave you both energized and fuller for longer. In addition, drink plenty of water in order to keep your body hydrated and also suppress any feelings of hunger.
Do exercises to shed those extra Inches around the waist
Exercising regularly will help to cut inches from your waist.Try to do at least half an hour of moderate aerobic exercise almost every day of the week, and it is even better if you can manage one hour.
Examples of such exercises include going on a bike ride, doing a few laps in the swimming pool, taking a brisk walk or joining an aerobics class. Even if side-bends and crunches cannot help you to shed the inches, they help in muscle-toning.
Resistance-training exercises like lifting weights help to build muscle and burn fat, Leading to a reduction in waist size. This is because muscle tissue is better at burning calories than fat tissue. You, therefore, need to perform strength training two times every week in order to shape and tone your entire body, including the waist. Other beneficial exercises include donkey kickbacks, waist turns (using a long pole that is placed on your shoulders) and cardio exercises such as the treadmill.
Get adequate sleep
How well you sleep also affects your waist size. Health experts have found that having reduced sleep and insomnia can lead to weight gain.
A full night’s sleep (seven to eight hours) ensures that your body gets adequate rest. During sleep, the body's hormone production process slows down, including the one that signals hunger in the body. At the same time, the body optimizes the functioning of other hormones like the growth hormone and others that assist in recovery from tiredness. These hormones are instrumental in burning fat in the body, and this can only be done effectively when your body gets sufficient rest.
According to scientific studies, insomniacs or those who do not get adequate sleep are likely to experience a surge in stress levels. This makes the body produce cortisol, which has been found to have a direct effect on one’s waist size. Getting adequate sleep means your stress levels will not affect you physically.
In conclusion, leading a healthy lifestyle will ensure that your waistline remains healthy, and you will also feel better as a whole. As a result, you will feel more energized and ready to overcome any obstacles that get in your way.