If you’ve been to your doctor for a checkup recently it’s likely that you had your cholesterol checked. We’ve learned over the years that high cholesterol is without question the worst thing for our health.
Actually, that’s not necessarily true. While your cholesterol is something that you want to keep under control, here are some healthy living tips to keep in mind when managing your well-being.
Maintaining a healthy body weight is an important place to start. Statistics on dieting around the world put the success rate of most “weight loss” programs around 5% – which means 95% of diets are not working long term.
Excess weight can be agonizing both physically and emotionally. Recent research links obesity to everything from heart disease to diabetes to cancer while the toll on positive body image can lead to depression and eating disorders.
Some people with a lifetime of weight control struggles move from one diet to another searching for the perfect one. Too often, we expect instant gratification and
Unfortunately, weight loss doesn’t work instantly – or even quickly if you want to keep it off. There is no miracle drug. You didn’t put the weight on overnight and it isn’t going to come off overnight. the fad diets are ready and willing to promise almost overnight success.
The best results still come from the tried and true combination of exercise and healthier eating habits.
That doesn’t mean an expensive gym membership you’ll use twice, forget to cancel, and end up spending hundreds of dollars on.
The most crucial healthy living tip is simply moving. Get your blood pumping! In our modern world, an increasing number of jobs are spent in front of a computer, escalators are the norm, and the thought of walking to the store or a restaurant is almost unheard of in most households.
Take a walk. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Get up and do some of those projects around your house or yard you’ve been putting off. Even the gentle movements found in tai chi and yoga are effective at burning fat and building lean muscle.
Every movement burns calories and burning calories causes you to lose weight.
Just as important as movement is the fuel you give your body! Quality nutrition that limits sugars, simple carbohydrates, and fat is the key to weight control. Fill your diet with fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and plenty of water.
You will shed those unwanted pounds…permanently.
High Blood Pressure
Another serious healthy living tip is guarding yourself against high blood pressure. Unless you’re getting your vitals checked during a regular doctor’s visit, you might not even think about hypertension – the common term for HBP.
Worldwide, it is estimated that one billion people suffer with hypertension and many of them might not even know it. It is referred to as the “silent killer” because it can go undiagnosed and untreated…because you may never experience a single symptom to alert you to a problem.
There are two very important numbers that can make the difference between a long healthy life and a very short one:
- Systolic (the first or top number) indicates how much pressure the blood pumping through your veins is putting on your arteries during each heartbeat.
- Diastolic (the second or bottom number) indicates how much pressure remains on your arteries between heartbeats.
Your blood pressure is considered “normal” if it is consistently lower than 120/80 – being consistently higher puts you at risk for hypertension.
Readings consistently higher than 140/90 means you probably already have high blood pressure and your risk of heart attack or stroke is increased.
HBP plays a role in 15% of deaths every year. Most people with elevated blood pressure control it with medication. However, there are ways you can lower it naturally.
Never stop taking prescribed medication until you speak to your doctor.
Exercise is extremely effective as are relaxation exercises, decreasing your caffeine and sodium intake, and eating more potassium-rich fruits and vegetables.
Are you a fan of dark chocolate or red wine? Moderate consumption of both can help lower your blood pressure and is good for your heart. In addition, the two are both extremely pleasant ways to maintain your health.
High Blood Sugar
High blood sugar or “hyperglycemia” is a widespread, but often overlooked, threat to your health. Almost 26 million Americans have diabetes and must manage their blood sugar on a daily basis. Some take daily medications such as insulin to control their levels.
It is estimated that 90% of all diabetics – those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes – are able to prevent and even reverse their diagnosis with the right lifestyle changes.
Once again, exercise can lower blood sugar levels! There is no getting around the fact that we need movement for a healthier and longer life.
Decaffeinated coffee can bring your blood glucose levels down, as can unsweetened green tea. In some cases, one cup of green tea has been found to lower blood sugar by as much as 30 points!
Adding apple cider vinegar to your salad can help block some of the post-meal insulin spike associated with consuming carbohydrates. Dashing some cinnamon on to your breakfast, coffee, or dessert has shown great promise in scientific studies. Cinnamon contains a compound called MHCP, which has effects similar to insulin.
Even relaxation exercises have been shown to be effective for some patients.
These are just a few healthy living tips and in no way are they an excuse to avoid that cholesterol screening. Put these into practice now and when your next checkup comes around, instead of leaving with a handful of prescriptions, enjoy a compliment from your doctor on your overall improvement.
Nowhere near as wonderful as you’re going to feel!