Start The New Year by Reducing Your Cholesterol Levels

What better time to make a real difference than at the beginning of a new calendar year? Yes, it might seem a little cliché but seriously why not? Today is as good as anytime so use that new year determination productively and channel it effectively by making some lifestyle changes and trying out new ways of getting healthier. It is a well-known fact that cholesterol is a major contributor towards heart attacks and strokes but many of us are not doing enough to minimise the risk by managing our cholesterol levels properly. There are a great many ways we can help ourselves so check what you are doing and whether there are any changes you can incorporate into your lifestyle.

Look at Your Diet

dietOne of the leading causes of high cholesterol is people not eating properly. Foods which contain too many saturated fats and trans fats can be quite harmful for you and should be cut out of your diet as much as possible. Now that’s easy to say but how aware are we of the food we are consuming and how much of these fats we are taking into our bodies? I think it’s fair to say that often we turn a blind eye to it or simply find the labels on food too complicated to follow and so we aren’t aware of how much of these fats we are eating. Try to avoid eating ready meals and fast food as much as possible. People don’t always consider that a lot of the food which we are buying from supermarkets is really rather unhealthy for you and whilst many of us will claim to not eat fast food because we don’t go to McDonald’s and the like, in effect we are still not doing ourselves many favours. Try to learn how to read the amount of these fats which are within the food you buy and whenever possible try to cook meals from fresh ingredients. ‘Oh but I haven’t got time’, is a classic excuse for that but all you need to do is cook meals in large quantities and freeze portions to eat for later. This will cut down both your cooking time as well as reduce the price of your shopping as you are buying things in larger quantities.

Lose Weight

lose-weightSo it’s the new year and most of us have stuffed ourselves silly over the Christmas period. We are all feeling guilty about it and are probably making resolutions with ourselves to lose a bit of weight. Well don’t just do it for a trimmer figure and to feel better about yourself do it for the good of your health too. Excessive weight can really affect one’s cholesterol levels. Regular exercise will help to increase the body’s HDL levels. HDL or high density lipoprotein is a ‘good’ form of cholesterol and by helping the to build these back up you will make your body be able to combat the effects of the ‘bad’ cholesterol levels. You need not necessarily have to get into some heavy work out regime at the local gym and just simple things such as walking or swimming daily or having a 10-minute workout routine once a day will make a really big difference. As well as this the chances of contracting diabetes can be higher for people carrying excessive weight amongst the other problems it can bring such as high blood pressure and pain to the muscles and joints.

Stop Smoking

smokingThis can be one of the hardest things for many of us to do. However, it is absolutely key to reducing cholesterol levels. Seriously, it is one of the unhealthiest things we can do to our bodies and for the best efforts we make in other areas of our lives if you are continuing to smoke then you are doing yourself no favours. That’s all well and good but quitting smoking is not the easiest thing to do. Try speaking with a friend you know who has recently managed to do it and find out how they went about it. Often, exercising more will help you to stop. As you get into it you will start to feel less inclined to smoke as you start to feel healthier and the smoking starts to hamper your work outs. Just finding something else to keep you active can help too as you will be distracted from the habit and quite possibly by reducing your stress levels you will want to smoke even less. When push comes to shove, smoking is an addiction and it can be very difficult to quit for many. However, you should try out as many different ways as possible such as support groups or alternative medicines. Many people claim that acupuncture can help and so whatever it is you can find which gets you out of the habit of smoking will do a world of good for your cholesterol levels and general health overall.