Call it what you will: the battle of the bulge, middle-age spread, the waistline war. Somewhere in that busy time between 30 and 40, the forces of nature—children, work, time—gang up on you. One day you notice last season's clothes are a little uncomfortable this time around.
All this comes at a time when age is less acceptable as an excuse for gaining weight. Just look at the current U.S. Dietary Guidelines, which make no allowance for getting heavier through the years.
Getting older doesn't have to mean getting wider, the experts say. The first step in the fight against flab is knowing your opponent. Take the following quiz to find out how well armed you are.
1. Middle-age spread is an increasing accumulation of:
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The increase in fat puts you at higher risk for high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. A healthy weight is possible with regular physical activity that includes aerobic (“cardio”) activities, such as brisk walking, golfing, yard work, bicycling, and swimming, and muscle-strengthening exercises, balanced with a healthy diet. And you can do more than just manage your weight. According to federal guidelines, getting at least 2-1/2 hours a week of moderate-intensity activity like brisk walking can lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and colon and breast cancers.
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