(CARLSBAD, CA) – High cholesterol. It’s the disease of overweight, balding men, right? Nope! Cholesterol is something affecting Americans of all ages, genders, races, and sizes. And it’s about time that we educate ourselves on how to keep our cholesterol in check.
You may be surprised to learn that almost one-fourth of women in their 30s already have borderline-high levels of LDL cholesterol, more commonly known as “bad” cholesterol. Meanwhile, only one-third of women in this age group have adequate levels of HDL, or “good,” cholesterol. Artery clogging that leads to heart disease begins when you’re in your 20s and 30s, so the time to act is now.
Unfortunately, if you’re turning a blind eye to potential cholesterol risks, you’re not alone. Even medical professionals tend to neglect cholesterol checks in women. According to a study by the RAND Corporation, doctors are less likely to monitor cholesterol in women than in men. This occurs even in cases where the women are high-risk candidates for heart attacks.
So, what do you need to know about cholesterol? Start with these five facts to jump-start your action plan.
1. Get regular check-ups. Starting at age 19, get a cholesterol check-up every five years. Pay attention to your results. If you find that your numbers are outside of the healthy range, then get an annual test and talk to your doctor about what you can do to improve your stats.
2. Learn your digits. Make sure you know the figures for your HDL, LDL, and total cholesterol. A healthy range for HDL “good” cholesterol is higher than 60. A healthy range for LDL “bad” cholesterol is less than 100. Your total cholesterol, a combination of both HDL and LDL, should not exceed 200.
3. Get moving. Exercise is imperative when it comes to maintaining your heart health. Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett suggests exercising at least 30 minutes on most days of the week to reap the health rewards that fitness has to offer. As your numbers on the scale begin to drop, you may just see an improvement in your levels of cholesterol.
4. Go Mediterranean. The Mediterranean diet is one of the most effective nutritional action plans to fight bad cholesterol. Olive oil, which is high in monounsaturated fats, helps to clear your body of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. Other top choices include almonds, flax, apples, fish, and oatmeal.
5. Learn your family history. The risk of cholesterol-related problems is increased when one or both of your parents have such health maladies. Even if you’re a size four, eating lots of greens, and working out regularly, you still have the potential for high cholesterol if it’s in the genes. Find out your family history, and then be sure to share your newfound insights with your doctor.
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.