Frequently Asked Questions

CERG answers your frequently asked questions about exercise and cardiac health.

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Frequently asked questions

What is metabolic syndrome?

Answer: Metabolic syndrome is a combination of factors that together increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, and is characterized by excessive abdominal fat, high blood pressure, and high levels of triglycerides in the blood.

Compared to healthy individuals, people with metabolic syndrome have thrice the risk of dying early of cardiovascular disease, however we know that exercise is an invaluable part of preventing and treating this condition

Increasingly, research indicates that the preventative effect of physical activity is best achieved with moderately high intensity exercise (for instance the reanalysis of the Aerobic Center Longitudinal Study performed in the U.S.). While current recommendations for physical activity benefit those individuals who manage to reach the targets, the current obesity pandemic suggest that many people fall short of this. Moreover, many who have not exercised for decades find the targets too overwhelming, become disheartened and give up when they don't manage to exercise daily. Our experience has been that "everyone" has time to exercise twice a week, and perhaps the secret to the success of this advice is the psychological effect of managing to reach one's target. So far, an increase in hiking – beyond that prescribed by the exercise regimen – has been the only side effect we've observed. With the burdens of a busy modern life, this type of exercise is perfect for practically everyone. Nevertheless, in addition to our research, larger studies should be pursued for more complete conclusions.

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What is BMI?

Answer: Body mass index (BMI) shows the relationship between weight and height, and is used internationally as a measure of obesity. The formula for calculating BMI is weight(kg)/[height(m)]2.

Note: BMI cutoffs for obesity treatment in children varies by age. 

Find your BMI here (external link)

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BMI Class
<18.5 Underweight
18.5-25 Normal
25-30 Overweight
30-35 Obese, class I
35-40 Obese, class II
>40 Obese, class III

What is HUNT?

Answer: The Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT) is one of the world's largest population studies with data from three health surveys; HUNT 1 (1984-86), HUNT 2 (1195-97) and HUNT 3 (2006-2008). With a large collection of health data and biological material, HUNT data is used by researchers in many varied fields. At CERG, we have in part used HUNT data to study the relationship between physical activity and cardiovascular disease, for example looking at VO2max as a predictor of future health. 

Read more about HUNT on their website

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