Saturday, June 9, 2012

What Cholesterol Tests Can Tell You

Men and women who have a history of heart disease within their families may want to make themselves available for periodic cholesterol tests. These tests provide excellent information on the overall state of the arteries, which can ultimately help determine which people are at risk for heart disease later in life. Physicians will administer the test and interpret the results. They will then usually assist the patient in developing a plan of action to lower their cholesterol levels. If the test shows, on the other hand, that someone is in overall good health, then he/she will only need to maintain what they've been doing in terms of diet and nutrition.
The tests should allow people to determine how much they need to modify their lifestyles. Individuals who eat a lot of meats and cheeses will likely end up with cholesterol problems. If they want, they can begin working with nutritionists to develop better meal plans. Eating a lot of fruits and vegetables should bring the bad cholesterol numbers down. Fiber will also help to push some of the bad food products through the digestive tract at a faster pace. Whole grain breads, beans, and other legumes are all excellent sources of both fiber and antioxidants.
Men and women should also give physical exercise a try. If they can build up the strength of the heart, the circulatory system will be able to pump blood throughout the body much easier. Some medical professionals believe that this will facilitate the removal of artery-hardening plaque from the body altogether. Exercisers can begin slowly, perhaps by walking a mile or two a few times per week. Once they have reached a base level of fitness, they can begin to jog or even run. As added motivation, they might even enter a five-kilometer road race with a good group of friends. The cholesterol should come way down.
Older individuals who have not had a full examination for many years should consider the benefits of cholesterol tests. If they are obese, inactive, or have been suffering from dizziness or chest pains, then a full suite of tests will likely be needed. Physicians will examine the lipid profile and suggest lifestyle modifications to their patients. Individuals might even be immediately put on some kind of medication, which will help lower the cholesterol while dietary changes are in the process of being made. Patients may eventually be removed from the medication once their overall health profile becomes much better. As long as they stick with their nutritional changes, they should be fine as they move forward with their lives.
The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only and is not, nor is it ever intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice or professional recommendations, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician(s) or other qualified healthcare provider(s).

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Focus On Fitness, Not Fashion, To Look Your Best

When it comes to looking your best, do you worry more about fashion than fitness? Clothes may help you look good, but they'll never match truly being in shape and having that healthy glow that comes from getting back in shape. Fitness should be your focus - being healthy never goes out of fashion, and getting rid of those nagging pains that plague you won't hurt, either!
Think about it for a moment... Go to your closet and take a good look at everything hanging there. How much of it doesn't fit anymore? How much has gone out of style, never to be worn again? And how much of your clothing have you given away or just thrown out in the past couple of years? So just how much did those now-useless clothes cost you - and more importantly, how much time did you invest earning that money?
Now envision what stage you'd be at now if that time had been spent in the gym getting back in shape? Or invested that money in proper nutrition and taking the right vitamins and supplements? For most people you'd look better now, feel better now and be much healthier. And you wouldn't feel bad every time you see those clothes that are just too tight in the waist!
And while you've gone out of your way checking out your look in new clothes each time you've been shopping, what about when you step out of the shower? Do you cast a critical eye on the mirror and smile at what you see? Or when undressing before going to bed - do you secretly sport an internal smile at what your spouse or significant other is watching, or automatically turn out the light before starting to disrobe? Fitness is the only way to look good naked, so there's that much more motivation for getting back in shape.
When you're dressed up and at the club or at that important social event, do toned, perfectly-shaped legs extend down from your skirt? Do your arms fill out that golf shirt or hang like toothpicks? Do you avoid going to pool parties or to the beach with friends, or do you relish each chance to strip down to your bathing suit or bikini? Are you proud of your level of fitness or wish you'd spent more time in the gym last winter? Maybe spent less time in front of the TV and used it instead to take a couple of healthy nutrition classes at your local college?
As you can see, even if you have a fantastic fashion sense, you'll still experience a lot of stress from putting fashion before fitness... But the good news is it's almost never too late for getting back in shape. Even if your bikini bottoms seem to disappear under your stomach each time you sit down, by next summer you can be strutting down the beach showing off your new body. Make the decision right now to worry less about the latest fashion trends and more about getting fit and you'll be on your way!