5 Simple Lifestyle Changes to Help Lower Cholesterol
5 Simple Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to Lower Cholesterol
By Donovan Baldwin
As with so many things in our lives, there are some things that can be changed to improve our health, and some that cannot. Your genetic inheritance is one of those which cannot be changed. If, due to your genetic inheritence, you are at risk for high cholesterol then that is a fact you must find a way to cope with.
One way of "coping" is to not just "cope" but to take positive action to control the things you DO have control over!
Having a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol is something to be concerned about since this condition puts you at risk for heart disease and heart attacks. In many such cases, cholesterol must be controlled with medication, However, whether you already have high cholesterol, or not, on medication or not, you can often lower your cholesterol levels by several points by making some simple lifestyle changes.
1. Exercise: Participating in almost any sort of regular physical activity such as
gardening, walking, or swimming, or in a formal exercise program, has several well-documented health benefits. Some of these affect your
cholesterol levels indirectly or from another angle, but exercise can reduce cholesterol levels itself. Even something as simple as managing to squeeze in a few short exercise sessions daily can help produce results.
2. Weight Loss:
It has been shown by many studies that losing as little as 10 lbs can
help reduce cholesterol levels, and exercise is one of the more
effective strategies for healthy weight loss. That's one of the
indirect aspects of exercise mentioned earlier.
3. Healthy Eating:
Here we go again, huh? Good food choices can help keep cholesterol
low. Healthy eating also helps promote weight loss. Healthy
weight loss can help encourage interest in exercise, as can getting the
proper nutrition. Additionally a good "diet" can help raise
HEALTHY EATING TIPS
As a rule of thumb, the closer to its natural source the food is, usually the better for
you it is. Get rid of trans fats generally found in fried foods and
bakery products. Select lean cuts of meat, low fat dairy products, and
exercise portion control. Eat a wide range of fresh fruits, vegetables,
and whole grains. By all means, read the labels! Pick foods with lower
cholesterol levels. For example, I was buying one brand of a certain
product I used daily until I read the label and found that it had a
much higher cholesterol level than another brand which provided the
4. Limit Alcohol Consumption. It's a good idea to keep alcohol consumption at low levels. It has been
found that a low level of alcohol consumption, generally no more than
one or two drinks a day, can be of some health benefit and can help
increase "good" cholesterol. Red wine has an ingredient, resveratrol,
which studies show apparently helps protect cells against the effects
of aging. However, high levels of alcohol consumption can lead to
serious health problems, including high blood pressure, heart failure
and stroke. By the way, if you do not drink already, do not
start. The risk of what you might do to yourself is not worth
5. Don't Smoke:
I am an ex-smoker (21 years), and I cannot beat on this drum enough! If
you already smoke, stopping smoking can improve your HDL cholesterol
level. The health benefits don't end there, either. Only 20 minutes
after your last cigarette, your blood pressure decreases. Then within
24 hours, your risk of a heart attack begins to decrease. Within just
one year, your risk of heart disease is already down to half that of a
smoker. Wait, it gets even better! Within 15 years of having quit smoking, your risk of heart disease is similar to someone who never smoked.
Generally, most of these lifestyle changes won't cause huge decreases
in cholesterol levels, but, over time, they will, in most cases,
produce results. However, as was mentioned earlier, some people may
still need medication to actually reduce cholesterol levels
effectively. Even in those instances, it is still in the individual's
personal interest to include the lifestyle choices as a part of their
plan for good health overall and cholesterol control in particular.
Donovan Baldwin is a 69-year-old
exercise and fitness fan, freelance writer, and certified optician
currently living near Dallas, Texas. A University Of West Florida
alumnus (1973) with a BA in accounting, he has been a Program
Accountant for the Florida State Department of Education, the Business
Manager of a community mental health center, and a multi-county Fiscal
Consultant for an educational field office. He has also been a trainer
for a major international corporation, and has managed various small
businesses, including his own. After retiring from the U. S. Army in
1995, with 21 years of service, he became interested in Internet
marketing and developed various online businesses. He has been writing
poetry, articles, and essays for over 40 years, and now frequently
publishes original articles on his own websites and for use by other
webmasters. He blogs regularly on senior health and fitness at http://fitness-after-40.ws.
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