Friday Fitness: Cholesterol

I found out this week that my cholesterol count is stellar, and my LDLs are at 92!! I was just having a conversation the other day too about how to lower your cholesterol. Turns out, I’m actually doing alright.  I was so excited I decided to post about it! 😀

Basically, for good cholesterol levels, do this:

  • Exercise most days of the week. Even a brisk walk for thirty minutes is something.
  • Eat enough foods rich in “good” fats, like nuts, fish, avocados, olive oil and canola oil. Around one-third of the calories in our diets need to come from fat, most of which should come from these “good” fats. These fats boost your “good” cholesterol – the HDLs – which act like garbage trucks that float through your blood stream and collect the “bad” cholesterol – the LDLs.  Just remember that one gram of fat has twice as many calories per gram of carbs or protein.
  • Eat enough fiber from fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains (drink plenty of water in the process too). Most people should get around 30g of fiber a day. Fiber binds to cholesterol in the digestive tract and carries it out of the body.
  • Avoid “bad” fats as much as possible; saturated fat and trans fat come in many forms (see choosemyplate.gov for great information). 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommend no more than 20g of saturated fat each day for a 2000 calorie diet.
  • And, seriously, don’t smoke or drink.

Image courtesy of lds.org

Click here for a copy of my diet tracking spreadsheet that I use to help me remember to get the foods I need in my diet.

The Mayo Clinic has a lot of great insight into cholesterol. Check out a few links below:

Cholesterol levels: What numbers should you aim for?
Cholesterol: Top 5 foods to lower your numbers
Top 5 lifestyle changes to reduce cholesterol
In-Depth look at cholesterol

My source:  “Understanding Normal and Clinical Nutrition” By Sharon Rady Rolfes, Kathryn Pinna, Ellie Whitney

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Friday Fitness: Strength Training Exercises

I found this beauty on Pinterest, and it is perfect! Strength training is such a great idea! The Mayo Clinic recommends strength training because “Strength training can help you tone your muscles and improve your appearance. With a regular strength training program, you can reduce your body fat, increase your lean muscle mass and burn calories more efficiently. Better yet, strength training doesn’t have to take as long as you might think. For most people, one set of strength exercises for major muscle groups performed two to three times a week is sufficient. ”  The Mayo Clinic also says that strength training strengthens your bones, helps control your weight by burning energy more efficiently, makes you stronger, and helps manage chronic conditions (see Strength training: Get stronger, leaner, healthier). Here is a list of exercises with video instructions from the Mayo Clinic you can try too!  Give it a try!