3.1.2. High Blood Pressure
3.1.4. Chest Pain
4.3.1. How to do Stepping Workouts
4.3.2. How to Perform Chair Exercises
4.4. Stop Smoking
6. Manage Your Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol, a fat-like substance, has been linked to a number of health problems like high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, and stroke. Doctors and health researchers alike have advocated for a change in lifestyle to lower cholesterol levels. But, is cholesterol bad or is it a misunderstood compound? Let’s find out.
Cholesterol is an organic fatty substance which forms the structural component of the cell membranes. It is abundant in brain tissues and nerves and only occurs in foods of animal origins.
The liver produces 75% of total cholesterol, and as such, it is not needed in your diet--although most of the foods in our diets like eggs contain dietary cholesterol.
Cholesterol composes 30% of the cell membrane and is required to build and maintain membrane viscosity. It is also a precursor of some important hormones like cortisol, aldosterone, testosterone, and estrogen. Cholesterol is used in the synthesis of vitamin A.
Cholesterol production increases with age, and it is crucial to check cholesterol levels every four to five years. The goal is to achieve total cholesterol levels of less than 200 milligrams per deciliter.
A reading between 200 and 239 mg/dL will be classified as borderline, whereas a reading of 240 or above is considered high cholesterol. High cholesterol levels can lead to a range of problematic health conditions, which we will discuss below.
High cholesterol or hypercholesterolemia is caused by a combination of factors. See all of the most common below to learn how to maintain an healthy lifestyle.
Genetic factors have been linked to high blood cholesterol. If your family has a history of heart attacks or high cholesterol, you may be at an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.
A diet high in saturated fats is the most common cause of high cholesterol in adults. Red meat like beef, lamb, and pork, high fat dairy products, as well as certain vegetable oils like coconut all lead to increased cholesterol levels. Maintaining a range of cholesterol means carefully monitoring your consumption of all these foods.
High cholesterol levels can also be a side effect of certain medications like anticonvulsants, immunosuppressives, antipsychotics, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Therapy.
A variety of factors can increase the risk of high blood cholesterol. See how many of the following apply to you:
High blood cholesterol is asymptomatic and can only be detected using a blood test. The best way to monitor cholesterol levels is by having regular checkups.
Hypercholesterolemia is a progressive disease and causes a range of health problems. See all of the most common below.
Atherosclerosis, narrowing of the arterial walls, is caused by plaque build-up in the endothelium. It is a progressive disease, and may take time to show symptoms. Atherosclerosis manifests differently--sometimes, the plaques stop growing and do not cause any harm to the body.
Atherosclerosis symptoms differ based on the type of artery affected, but they can include
Hypertension occurs when the pressure of pumping blood is continuously high. Atherosclerosis increases the risk of high blood pressure because of the narrowing of the arteries. Some of the symptoms include dizziness, vomiting, nausea, headaches, blurred vision, breathlessness, and irregular heartbeats.
Keep a blood pressure monitor handy to stay on top of all your relevant readings. ( See Product )
Hypertension is measured using a sphygmometer. However, you can easily monitor the levels at home with the blood pressure monitoring devices.
A stroke usually happens when there is an interruption of blood supply to the brain, and it can either be an ischemic stroke (occurs when the artery is blocked) or hemorrhage stroke caused by bursting of the blood vessels.
A stroke is a medical emergency, and it’s crucial to monitor the symptoms like confusion, paralysis on face and limbs, blurred or blackened vision, headaches, sudden dizziness, loss of balance, and coordination.
Ischemia, a narrowing of the coronary artery, can cause a low supply of oxygen-rich blood in the heart muscles. The pain or discomfort occurs in the chest, but also the shoulders, arms, jaws, neck, and back, and can at times feel like indigestion.
One of the telltale signs of Ischemia is an irregular heartbeat. Listen for yourself with a stethoscope for home use.
A lifestyle change is the best remedy, but you may need a combination of treatments to lower cholesterol.
Medications like statins, bile-binding resins, cholesterol absorption inhibitors, can be prescribed to lower cholesterol. These medicines bind bile production causing the liver to draw cholesterol from the blood. You may also use fibrates, niacin or omega-3 supplements to lower triglycerides.
The best defense against hypercholesterolemia is a healthy diet. Your diet should be rich in vegetables, fish, monounsaturated fats from olive oil or canola. Avoid trans fats from baked cookies or crackers. Monitor your health closely with an accurate digital scale.
Make an effort to increase Omega-3 fatty acid intake. Omega-3, polyunsaturated fats, are found in fish and plant products as well as supplements. This fatty acids help to lower triglyceride levels.
A pedal exercise is one of the best ways to get started with a regular workotu routine ( See Product )
Research indicates that exercise increases HDL particles in the blood which lowers cholesterol and triglycerides. Aerobic exercises and resistance training are known to lower LDL levels.
A great place to start working out is with walking, swimming, cycling or stepping workouts. These aerobic steps can be performed anywhere at any time, and all you need is a mini stepper. A pedal exerciser is another simple way to improve cardiovascular health while sitting at your desk or couch.
Chair exercises are a great alternative for seniors with low body strength or those recovering from surgery. The exercises are versatile and help promote blood circulation.
The American Heart Association recommends 40 minutes of aerobics four times a week or 75 minutes of vigorous exercises per week.
Smoking increases LDL, clogs arteries, thickens blood, increase clotting, causes weak bones and weakens the immune system.
Hypercholesterolemia recovery time will depend on several factors--the severity of plaque build-up, genetic tendencies, aggressiveness of the treatment and the blood cholesterol levels.
It is crucial to monitor your response to the cholesterol-lowering medication to see if they are working or not.
Prevention of hypercholesterolemia is far better than cure, and the best place to start is with a change of diet and general lifestyle. It is also prudent to invest in cholesterol testing kits which are readily available at your local pharmacy. Most of these test kits only measure the total cholesterol, HDL, and triglycerides. The LDL-C can’t be measured but can be calculated using total cholesterol, HDL and triglycerides figures.
Knowing when to apply heat and ice to injuries can be tricky—but what about using both together? This technique is known as contrast therapy, or alternating hot and cold therapy, and involves alternating applications of heat and ice to relieve the pain associated with injury or overexertion. This simple, affordable, and relatively low-risk treatment can be performed in your own home to provide rapid and natural pain relief for all sorts of aches and pains. Keep reading to find how and when to use contrast therapy.
Restless leg syndrome, also called Willis-Ekbom disease, is a sleep disorder that creates uncomfortable sensations in the legs while you rest. It is thought to be caused by an iron deficiency or low dopamine levels within the brain. Many treatments aim to reduce symptoms through lifestyle changes, iron supplements, medication, moderate exercise, and massage therapy. Learn more in this article about how you can integrate massage for restless leg syndrome into your life and get the sleep you need.
Restless leg syndrome (RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom, is a sleep disorder that affects the nervous system. The hallmark symptom of RLS is the irresistible urge to move your legs while resting. The urge is temporarily relieved with movement and can recur throughout the night. If you’re looking for a way to help reduce your symptoms of restless leg syndrome with minimal side effects, then check out the recommended yoga poses below.
Do you feel an irresistible urge to move your legs that causes you to wake up during the night? Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a sleep disorder that creates these feelings and can cause significant sleep disturbances. Typically caused by iron deficiency, low dopamine levels, or genetic factors RLS symptoms can be managed with exercise and stretches. Learn more about how you can implement exercises for restless leg syndrome into your daily routine.