High cholesterol is the major cause of heart diseases and attacks across the world. There exist medications that can help reduce cholesterol, but it is now possible to shed off the extra pounds by just changing your lifestyle. If you are currently on medications for cholesterol reduction, lifestyle changes will be more effective and to a larger extent improve the cholesterol-lowering effect of your medications.
Lifestyle changes can be very helpful in cholesterol reduction, and will keep you off cholesterol-lowering medications and/or enhance the effect of your medications. Here are some lifestyle changes to get you started.
1. Weight loss
Adding and carrying around some additional pounds culminates in high cholesterol. This makes it important to lose as much as 5 to 10 percent of your total body weight, and this greatly reduces your cholesterol levels. Closely evaluate your daily eating habits and take an even closer look at your weight loss obstacles and find ways of overcoming them.
If you sometimes eat while stressed or absent minded, then its time you considered taking a walk prior to eating. If you can't resist picking a packet of junk food as your lunch, then its time you packed something healthier as you leave the house. If you have a constant craving to munch on potato chips as you watch, try something else like carrot pieces instead.
As you take your meals, take your time and never rush as it affects the nutrient uptake. Most importantly, identify ways to integrate additional physical activity more activity into your daily schedule including giving stairs preference instead of the elevator.
2. Prioritize healthy foods
It doesn't matter whether you have been eating unhealthy meals previously, a few diet changes can minimize cholesterol accumulation in your body and boost your health. In your diet, consider healthier fats since saturated fats in drawn from red meat and dairy products are full of cholesterol. Make it your daily rule to get a smaller percentage of your total daily calories from saturated fat. Instead, prioritize poultry meat and monounsaturated fats; found in olive and peanut oils as your healthier option.
Also, focus on minimizing the cholesterol in the food you eat, emphasize on whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
3. Exercise regularly during the week
It doesn't matter if you're overweight or not, a daily exercise regime can reduce your cholesterol levels. Even better, moderate exercising and activity can facilitate increase of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which is essentially the beneficial cholesterol. If your doctor gives you an OK to exercise, work up to at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.
As you make progress in reducing your cholesterol, remember that even 10-minutes of exercise will contribute to weight loss. All you need to do is maintain a steady schedule in the changes you decide to embrace. Consider:
- Taking a leisurely walk daily
- If possible ride your bike to work
- Do a few swimming laps
- Play your favorite sport more often
If you need motivation, ask your friends or even family members to join you in exercising. As you do all these, remember any physical activity is beneficial to your general health. Even simple activities such as opting for the stairs instead of the elevator can make a difference to your general health.
4. Keep away from smoking
Incase you're a habitual smoker, stop. Studies have shown that 20 minutes of not smoking have a significant impact on reducing blood pressure. This means that if you quit smoking for 24 hours and extend it to a month or even a year you'll have alleviated the risk of heart attack. If you keep the same trend for over 15 years, you'll be free of any smoke traces and your risk of heart attack will be very minimal.
5. Drink alcohol in moderation
If you can quit drinking alcohol, do it moderately as it is associated with higher levels of cholesterol. However, this is not evidence enough to recommend drinking of alcohol for anybody who doesn't already drink. In doing this, you will be reducing your cholesterol levels.
Incase lifestyle changes aren't enough¦
Somehow a healthy lifestyle may not be sufficient enough to significantly reduce your cholesterol levels. Ensure that you opt for changes the ones you can uphold for long, and don't be surprised if you don't see any immediate results. If you are on prescription medicine for cholesterol reduction, don't quit, take as per the prescription but keep the lifestyle changes. In addition to life style changes, purchasing cholesterol reduction products will yield amazing results within the shortest time possible.