Friday, February 23, 2007

Cholesterol and Exercise Checklist from WebMD

Be sure and leave a comment if you have a unique way of staying in shape.


From WebMd

Checklist: Exercise and Cholesterol

8 Fitness Tips to Help Lower Your Cholesterol

By Gina ShawWebMD Feature

Reviewed By Charlotte Mathis

There's a link between exercise and cholesterol. A sedentary life can keep your LDL bad cholesterol levels high and your HDL good cholesterol levels low, just the opposite of the way you want them. But incorporating exercise into your life may help lower your cholesterol levels on its own -- and help you stay at a healthy weight. How can you safely start a healthy exercise plan you can stick with? Follow this checklist.

___ Start small and set realistic goals. To exercise for lower cholesterol, you don't have to become Lance Armstrong. Don't say "I'll go to the gym every night this week." Instead, start out by pledging to take a half-hour walk after dinner at least four nights this week. Research shows that even moderate exercise improves your cholesterol and heart health.

___ Pick an activity you like -- otherwise, you won't stick with it. If you hate running, don't buy jogging shoes just because your best friend lost weight running. To help lower cholesterol, find out what exercises fit your fitness personality.

___ Keep an exercise journal. Studies show that you need at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, three or more times a week, to raise your HDL good cholesterol levels, so keep track of your progress to make sure you reach your goal every week.

___Mark that journal or a calendar for exercise milestones you hope to achieve, like running a mile without stopping or swimming 10 lengths of the pool. Plan to reward yourself for those achievements with a special treat, like a night out, a new outfit or a massage.

___ Buy a pedometer and track how many steps you walk on an average day. Then, try to add at least 2,000 steps per day to your total exercise regimen. That's about half an hour of walking.

___ Include weight training in your exercise regimen for lower cholesterol. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle you build, the more efficiently you'll lose weight.

___ Set an exercise goal. Many people do better with a fitness plan if they have a goal in mind. If you like running, choose a 5K race to train for. If you enjoy cycling, plan to treat yourself to a weekend bike trip somewhere you love.

___ Check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen to lower cholesterol, especially if you lead a sedentary lifestyle or have chronic health problems like heart disease.

Published February 2007.
SOURCES: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: "High Blood Cholesterol: What You Need to Know." National Cholesterol Education Program of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: "Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III)." Mayo Clinic: "Dietary fats: Know which types to choose." Antonio Gotto, MD, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, N.Y. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: "Introduction to the TLC Diet." WebMD.com: "Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet for high cholesterol." Reuters Health: "Moderate Exercise Can Improve Women's Cholesterol." Harvard HealthBeat: "What to Do About High Cholesterol." National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: "Cholesterol-Lowering Medications and You." American Heart Association: "Side Effects of Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs."
© 2007 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.

2 comments:

Doug said...

Many cities have a Frontrunners group, despite its name most groups have a walking contingent and have organized walks one or more times a week. Joining a group like this makes exercise a social event as well and giving you an opportunity to find an exercise partner who will help keep you motivated. Most groups have walkers in all age groups and at all levels so you shouldn’t feel intimidated if you are just starting an exercise program. In the group I belong to, the Baylands Frontrunners in Palo Alto, at least half of the walkers are over 40 years of age and new men and women just starting and exercise program join each week. For more information and to locate a club near you go to: http://www.frontrunners.org/clubs/us_clubs.php

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