FACT: 71% of Americans surveyed were not sure of or do not recall their LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.
Because high levels of bad cholesterol can contribute to cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke,knowing your levels and talking to a doctor are important to help manage cholesterol and assess the risk of potential cardiac events.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fat-like material in your blood. Your body makes its own cholesterol. When you eat foods that have lots of fat or cholesterol, you can have too much cholesterol in your blood.
When there is too much cholesterol, it builds up in the walls of your arteries. If too much cholesterol builds up, the arteries become narrowed and blood flow to the heart is slowed down or blocked.
The blood carries oxygen to the heart, and if enough blood and oxygen cannot reach your heart, you may suffer chest pain. If the blood supply to a portion of the heart is completely cut off by a blockage, the result is a heart attack.
The Good and Bad of Cholesterol
HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is “GOOD” cholesterol
- HDL helps keep cholesterol from building up in the arteries
- Protects against heart disease
LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is “BAD” cholesterol
- LDL causes the build up or blockages in arteries, increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke
- Can cause heart disease
- Triglycerides are another type of fat, and they’re used to store excess energy from your diet.
- High levels of triglycerides in the blood are associated with atherosclerosis
Many people with heart disease or diabetes also have high triglyceride levels.
|When should you be checked?
- If you are 20 years and older
- If you have a family history of heart disease
- If you are a man over age 35
- If you are a woman over age 45
Desirable Cholesterol Levels
< 200 mg/dL
LDL (“bad” cholesterol)
< 100 mg/dL
HDL (“good” cholesterol)
≥ 60 mg/dL
< 150 mg/dL
Prevention and Treatment of High Cholesterol
In addition to making sure to eat a heart healthy diet and avoid tobacco smoke, one of the best ways to prevent and treat High Cholesterol levels is through a well planned and consistent exercise program.
Exercise for Healthy Cholesterol Numbers
To truly lose weight and lower cholesterol, cardiovascular exercise is going to take a key role in staying healthy. It gets your heart rate up and burns the most calories. Exercise helps change one’s cholesterol by lowering the triglycerides and increasing the good HDLs. Exercise does not have much impact on LDL unless combined with dietary changes and weight loss. To get the most benefit out of exercise, be sure to:
- Check with your doctor to ensure safety before starting an exercise program. Do not engage in any activity that causes chest pain, excessive shortness of breath, dizziness, or lightheadedness. Stop immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
- Start out slowly. If you’re overweight and out of shape, this is especially important when you begin your exercise program. You want to strengthen your heart, not overextend it.
- Gradually increase the intensity and length of your workouts. To start a walking program, for instance, try going for a medium-paced walk for 20 minutes about four days a week. Each week start walking a little longer and a little faster, and add an extra day. Eventually, you want to be walking for about an hour on almost every day of the week. Challenge yourself by doing some light jogging on your walk, or walk up some big hills.
- Keep it interesting. For exercise to be an effective treatment for high cholesterol, you have to stick with your program. If you’re the kind of person who gets bored easily, alternate between sports, outdoor activities, gym work, and classes.
- Don’t overdo it. Remember that improving health and fitness with an exercise program should be a gradual change. It takes time for your body to be fit enough to keep up with strenuous exercise, and you’re likely to be sore, burned out, and frustrated if you push yourself too fast. So while it’s great to be enthusiastic about losing weight, be smart and slow about it. Don’t run five miles your first time out; build up to that pace. This approach will pay off with greater dividends in the long run.
Fitness Advice, Health News
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Nearly one in four Americans experiencing some form of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in their lifetime; with hypertension being the largest risk factor for CV. Thus it makes sense for us to take a look at hypertension and CVD and how to treat both through exercise.
Normal blood pressure is <130 mmHg Systolic and <90 mmHg Diastolic; and hypertension starts above 140 mmHg for Systolic and 90 mmHg for Diastolic. Regular exercise is believed to be the first line of defense to treat mild to moderate hypertension. Regardless of age, aerobic exercise in previously sedentary men and women decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 6 to 10 mmHg; and results can be seen as quickly as 4 weeks of exercise. For people who stopped exercising, blood pressure returned to hypertensive states within a month. Resistance training will create a large increase in blood pressure while training, but will not result in an elevated resting blood pressure; some resistance training regiments have been show to lower resting blood pressure.
The benefits of exercise for people with cardiovascular disease are:
- Prevention of stroke
- Regression of the hardening of your arteries
- Prevention of heart disease
- Decreased hypertension
The goal of an exercise regime for some with CVD is to improve one’s functional capacity, making everyday activity easier and more manageable. By getting on an exercise routine people can reduce the work that the heart has to do for any external exercise load; this is usually seen with a reduced heart rate & reduced blood pressure.
What should a cardiovascular workout look like for someone with CVD?
- Frequency At least 3-5 times a week
- Intensity 40-65% heart rate max or RPE 10 to 13 (out of 20)
- Type Rhythmic large muscle groups that stimulate breathing
- Time 20-30 continuous min per session
- Progression May be cyclical with periods of regression depending on treatments
What should a weight workout look like for someone with CVD?
- Frequency 2 nonconsecutive times a week
- Intensity Low weights, 10-15 reps to moderate fatigue
- Type Rhythmic large muscle groups that stimulate breathing (no isometric exercises)
- Duration 1 set for each exercise, prevent carry over fatigue
If you have a family history of CVD or you presently have CVD you should be thinking about adding some light cardiovascular training to help stabilize your circulatory system and gradually try to increase duration and then intensity. Adding some weight work will also help get your body to a better functional condition, allowing you to enjoy your day and loved ones even more! If you have questions about how to exercise with cardiovascular disease please feel free to contact Fitness Director Jacob Galloway.
Fitness Advice, Health News, Lifestyle, Weight Loss
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Every person in the world knows of someone that has had cancer or presently has cancer; sadly it is becoming more prevalent within our society with 1/3 of our population having some type of cancer. Cancer very plainly is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells; and there are more than 100 different types of cancer. With more than eight million cancer survivors it is becoming increasingly important to create structured workout regimes for the rehabilitative and maintenance of this issue.
With the two major issues for current cancer patients being loss of body mass and daily functional status (including extreme fatigue and difficulty walking), it is important to start an exercise routine during and following cancer treatments.
The benefits of exercise for cancer treatment side effects:
- Decreased sense of fatigue
- Increase in body mass
- Increased coordination
- Increased muscular strength
- Increased cardiovascular endurance
- Increased quality of life
- Prevention of future cancers
So what should a cancer survivor’s workout goals be?
- Improve your overall functional status. Are your workouts making life seam easier, giving you more energy, distracting your mind?
- Improve flexibility and mobility of joints. Keep you loose and limber, this may take some thought as to not cause pain while stretching but it can be done.
- Increase circulation with active motion. Get that blood pumping in your entire body!
- Increase ventilatory function. Try to create an exercise routine that gets you to work on systematic breathing.
- Prevent blood clotting. Keep your blood healthy with movement.
- Increase muscular strength and endurance. Work with weights and cardio equipment to your own submaximal effort.
- Reduce bone loss. Add weight bearing exercises to your workout to strengthen your bones and joints.
- Keep your metabolism up and keep your muscles. Working on keeping your muscles strong and toned will keep your strength as well as keep your metabolism elevated.
- Listen to your body. You don’t want to over tax your body, look for signs of increased fatigue, dizziness, cramping during or following exercise and stop what you are doing.
What should a workout for a cancer survivor look like?
- Frequency At least 3-5 times a wk
- Intensity 60-80% heart rate max or RPE 11 to 14 (out of 20)
- Type Large muscle groups, walking & cycling
- Time 20-30 continuous min per session
- Progression May be cyclical with periods of regression depending on treatments
For those with some medical issue, exercise really is the cure all. No matter what the medical issue, exercise has never been shown to have detrimental effect, but rather the opposite; it usually alleviates all of the negative side effects. What you have to understand is how to modify exercise for each issue that arises like stated above. If you have questions about how to exercise being a cancer survivor please feel free to contact Fitness director Jacob Galloway.
Fitness Advice, Health News, Motivation
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The time has come for those New Year resolutions to be enacted in full-effect! This is the best time of year to get connected with our amazing massage staff here at the SAC, start off the year off on a “good- well-massaged foot”. I tell most of my clients to listen to what there bodies need as the best guide to tell when they are due for a massage. For some, that is once a month and others, once a week.
We all need some good endorphins every so often, I tend to keep a bar of chocolate in my bag at all times and get a good massage every 2-3 weeks. It helps keep the cortisol levels down and the levels of serotonin and dopamine elevated. Researchers have also found increased levels of oxytocin and white blood cells!
If you are looking for a good New Year resolution, getting regular massage definitely fits the bill! If you have any questions about massage or the SAC’s massage staff, feel free to ask questions! Contact Jessie Jo Egersett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-443-1111 ext. 276. To book a massage just talk to our friendly front desk staff or go to the Member Reservation link at www.sacdt.com.
Fitness Advice, Massage
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Here at the Seattle Athletic Club members often ask: How often should I get a massage? Should I book a massage treatment before or after a workout?
Listen to your body
Do your muscles feel sore or your limbs heavy? Or maybe you’re just feeling sluggish or in need of a little “you” time. Leading an active lifestyle with regular exercise, work and the general stress of our daily routine can build up stress on the joints and muscles. Whatever the reason, this is a good time to get a therapeutic massage from one of our highly skilled massage therapists here at the SAC.
Post athletic event (marathon, basketball tournament, spin class, a good workout) are great times for a massage. Have you ever felt really sore the morning after a strenuous workout? Or maybe even a couple of days later? Massage can aide in moving the bi-products of muscle use and heavy exercise through the body faster, keeping joints, tendons muscles looser and ready for more activity and a quicker recovery time!
General Benefits of Massage
- Massage can help break up adhesions or “sticky spots” in the muscles where muscle fibers get adhered from lots of physical activity.
- Massage can help decrease your stress level and increase the same hormones that are released when you sleep.
- Bodywork and touch therapies of any kind are good for a sense balanced mental and physical well-being.
- Add your own benefits here!
Seattle Athletic Club Downtown Massage Therapists
Check the Seattle Athletic Club website or the photos on the wall near the massage rooms in the Men’s and Women’s locker rooms for more information about the modalities and skills of our great team of therapists. From Thai massage to Sports massage; specific injury treatment or just a relaxing hour of healing touch, you’re in good hands with our specialists her at the SAC!
Call 206-443-1111 to book your next massage.
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