Exercise in Addition to the Mediterranean Diet Improves Health Related Quality of Life in People with Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is defined as having three or more cardiovascular risk factors that occur together. These include elevated blood sugar, a larger waist, BMI over 30, high blood pressure, high LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, and low HDL (good cholesterol) levels. Metabolic syndrome increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. In previous studies, a Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, and lean meats, has been shown to significantly reduce cardiovascular risk factors.
A new study comparing the diet alone and the diet plus moderate to high intensity exercise found that the exercise group had greater improvements in some markers of quality of life such as physical function, vitality, general health, and perception of health. Exercise in addition to diet also resulted in greater physical fitness, better response to exercise stress, and greater weight loss.
Given this research, adding moderate to high intensity exercise to a healthful diet can improve several health risk factors better than diet alone. People should be encouraged to seek out a safe setting for physical activity such as a health club, and to take advantage of the experienced trainers and group instructors there who are prepared to accommodate a variety of skill levels and motivate people to improved health.
Landaeta-Díaz L, Fernández JM, Da Silva-Grigoletto M, Rosado-Alvarez D, Gómez-Garduño A, Gómez-Delgado F, López-Miranda J, Pérez-Jiménez F, Fuentes-Jiménez F. Mediterranean diet, moderate-to-high intensity training and health-related quality of life in adults with metabolic syndrome. Eur J Prev Cardiolog. 2012 Apr 10.