Lowering our bad cholesterol and raising our good is a healthy choice but not always an easy one to make. It involves many factors including our diets, exercise and even our stress levels. Take a look at the following information from the guidebook and see if you can incorporate any of the ideas into your daily routine.
Physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Being physically active can help you to:
- lower your cholesterol levels
- achieve or maintain a healthy weight
- lower your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes
- improve your mental health and well-being
- reduce stress
- sleep well at night
- feel more energized
Keep it fun! Find activities you enjoy. If you have been inactive for a while, start with just walking and check with your doctor first before starting any new exercise program.
TIP: make walking part of your everyday routine
- get off the subway a few stops early and walk the rest of the way
- take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator
- walk to deliver messages to your colleagues instead of calling
- go for a 10 minute (or longer) power walk at lunch every day. Go for another walk after dinner too!
Stress is a normal part of life. But too much of it can increase your risk of heart disease.
And it's not just negative events, like job loss, money woes or deadlines at work that can cause stress. Positive events - going on vacation, getting married, moving into a new house -- are also stressful.
Notice how you feel when you are stressed. Are you irritable or depressed? Is your heart beating faster? Are you having trouble sleeping?
Different people have different ways of dealing with stress, so it's important to find what works best for you. What you should not do is smoke or overindulge in food or alcohol.
TIP: Healthy ways to de-stress
- exercise, take a yoga class, do something, or go for a long walk
- eat regular meals (e.g. three meals a day with snacks) so that you have energy and stamina to exercise and deal with stress
- talk to someone - a friend, family member, someone at work or your doctor
- write your thoughts in a journal
- take 10 slow breaths to calm down and relax
- meditate before bedtime. Get enough sleep
- treat yourself to a massage or a mini vacation
- read a book or listen to relaxing music