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Lower Your Cholesterol By Creating New Habits

Aug 17, 2007
Many people are walking around, feeling absolutely wonderful, with a ticking time bomb lodged in their arteries. No, the explosive device will not literally blow a body to smithereens. However, the probable concussion is capable of causing deadly heart attacks and strokes. Until the volatile situation is diffused, an individual is walking a minefield of detonation apparatus.

The bomb is high cholesterol. Now, once found, how can an individual rid the body of high cholesterol before time runs out? The answer is easy; the solution is difficult. The first step to lowering high cholesterol is developing new habits. Although the answer is easy to state, the implementation is likely the most difficult undertaking of an individual's life, because the new habits require smoking cessation, maintaining a heart-healthy diet, and developing an exercise routine.

First, a former smoker will freely admit, the addictive properties of tobacco products make quitting seem like self torture-for a time. Many will also confess, success came after more than one attempt to break the habit.

However, the initial price of denying an addiction, and beginning a new habit of improved health, is worth the investment. Outwardly, a person will immediately cease smelling like a walking ashtray. Inwardly, the body begins the process to clear up the lungs, and improving circulation throughout the body.

So, what does smoking have to do with high cholesterol? Plenty! Smoking actually causes the blood vessels to constrict. Now, imagine the narrowing highways of blood circulating past obstructions of plaque, or fatty deposits, in the system.

Over time, if the obstructions are not removed, the highways of blood coursing through the body will eventually hit a total roadblock. Then, without warning an individual will suffer a debilitation/deadly stroke or heart attack. Before a roadblock cuts life short-quit smoking! Yes, now a person has one more compelling reason to stop subjecting the body to tobacco.

A second new habit to establish is a heart-healthy diet. The expression, "garbage in, garbage out" is appropriate to consider, when attempting to lower high cholesterol. Consuming garbage foods will ultimately create destructive waste in the veins, in the form of high cholesterol. If the waste is not removed, and steps are not taken to keep the garbage from collecting again, an individual will likely suffer the consequences of neglecting to lower high cholesterol.

Now, what are garbage foods? Essentially, high fat foods should be avoided. Sorry, ice cream is on the list. However, a yummy sorbet is not. Products containing saturated fat are contributors to the garbage pile.

Conversely, high fiber edibles can actually help take some of the garbage away. For example, oatmeal is advertised to help in lowering high cholesterol. True! Certain foods basically absorb excess cholesterol and carry the garbage away. Eating more fruits and vegetables, and consuming fish, rather than fatty red meats, are also healthy eating choices. If in doubt as to heart-healthy foods, a family physician will be glad to give a patient the needed information.

Finally, do not be the preverbal couch potato. Get into an exercise routine. If money is tight, and membership in a fitness club is not an option, do not worry. Exercise is free.

For examples, take a brisk walk every day; instead of exercising the arms while holding small weights, grab a couple cans of vegetables; or ride a bike. Many people join spas and clubs for the motivational support. No problem! Friends and family are free. Start an epidemic of good health. Get physically fit, together.

How can exercise contribute to lowering high cholesterol? The answer is relatively simple. Exercise builds muscles and burns fat. Coupled with a healthy diet, cholesterol will not have the opportunity to collect on the artery walls, because excess fat is being burned and exercise improves circulation.

Physical fitness is a win-win situation. An individual will ultimately feel better, and the effort will become a valuable tool used to defuse the ticking time bomb called high cholesterol.

In summary, lowering high cholesterol is essential for good cardiovascular health. If a doctor diagnosis unsafe cholesterol levels, an individual is essentially a ticking bomb waiting to be detonated.

Unless, and until, the health concern is addressed, the patient is a prime candidate for a heart attack or stroke. In many cases, the patient has no second chance to lower high cholesterol. So, do not ignore the numbers. Immediately, an individual can take appropriate steps to begin lowering high cholesterol. First, quit smoking! Make the decision to do whatever it takes to break the addiction. Second, make the life-long choice to eat a healthy low-fat diet. Trade in the cake and ice cream for fruity desserts like sorbet. Last, build muscles and increase cardiovascular health with regular exercise. Do not put off, until tomorrow, what should be done today. Create new habits. Otherwise, tomorrow may never come.
About the Author
Erol Orderland writes about aging and disease from his home in the Netherlands. Visit High Cholesterol for more information and Lower Cholesterol Levels for related news
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