Top 5 lifestyle changes to improve your cholesterol
Written By Health Hub
February 2, 2017
If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, it is time to step back and reflect on your lifestyle. Are you leading a lifestyle which has led to cholesterol spikes? Do you have a sedentary life with little or no exercise? Do you eat food high in trans fats? Do you have time to exercise? Question yourself and make a resolution to change your lifestyle to keep your cholesterol levels in check. All it takes is a positive attitude and determination to stay healthy and fit. After all, none of us want to live with heart disease and frequently visit hospitals! Apart from being regular with your cholesterol-lowering medications, try our top 5 lifestyle changes to keep you free from heart disease.
Top 5 lifestyle changes
Exercise, exercise and more exercise.
Exercise can significantly lower your high LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Start with at least 30-minute workouts per week for about 4-5 times a week. Look up our exercise tips to combine aerobic, resistance training and flexibility workouts. Keep a check on how much you walk. Instead of the elevator, take the stairs. Instead of taking your scooter to the corner store, walk! Exercising will lower your weight which will directly benefit your cholesterol levels. Make this change in your life. Choose to stay fit.
Your body will thank you for cutting out cigarettes. The benefits of quitting are endless. Not only your blood pressure and heart beat get regulated, you get to protect your lungs and heart. Your LDL cholesterol levels drop within a week of quitting. Get help with support groups. Talk to others who have quit. Seek their advice. So don’t wait, just quit!
Brush twice and floss.
Along with regular brushing at least twice a day, it is also important to floss. This keeps the spaces between the teeth clean.
Moderate your alcohol.
If you drink alcohol, stay within limits. Healthy adults can go for just one drink a day after the age 65. Adults younger than 65 can consume up to 2 drinks a day. Do not go beyond these measures. Excessive binging on alcohol can push up your bad cholesterol levels significantly.
Regular dental checkups.
Make it a point to get regular dental checkups for early detection of caries or gum diseases.
Choose a heart-healthy diet.
To keep your cholesterol in check, the American Heart Association recommends a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat meat and dairy and nuts. Say no to red meat, high fatty foods, trans fats, bakery products, colas and sweets riddled with sugar. Choose polyunsaturated fats found in vegetable oils for cooking (sunflower, safflower, canola, olive). Get foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These are found in flaxseeds, almonds and walnuts. Go for whole grains and soluble fiber found in oats and bran. Add a good measure of colorful fruits and vegetables to your daily diet.
Get those supplements.
Some supplements have a role in regulating your cholesterol levels. These include plant sterols and stanols which can block your body from absorbing bad cholesterol. Some foods like juices and yogurt might have these added supplements. Check the labels carefully before buying.These can help in lowering cholesterol.
The above lifestyle changes are fairly easy to make and will keep you healthy in the long run. Get support from friends and family. Seek out partners who will join you in your healthy goals. Keep track of each other’s progress and watch your health improve as you feel fitter and better each day.
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