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To kick off National Cholesterol Month, we’re going to fill in you in on a few key facts!

Not only is it time to celebrate Halloween in October, it’s time to dedicate time to understanding your body – more specifically, your cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol – what is it?

It’s not a disease or condition, cholesterol is a fatty substance found in your blood. Naturally produced in your liver and sent throughout your body, cholesterol is used by every cell in your body and keeps you healthy.

Many of us hear on the news or read somewhere we need to reduce our cholesterol levels to remain free from the risk of heart-disease or stroke. But you don’t need to reduce your levels if they’re already at a healthy point. No matter your lifestyle, weight or age, it’s important to find out your levels – as they do depend on your genes as well – so just ask your doctor for a blood test.

My cholesterol is high – what do I do?

If your cholesterol levels come back as normal, not a problem – keep doing whatever it is you’re doing! However, if you’re results show – or you already know – you have a high cholesterol level, there are plenty of ways to combat and reduce.

First, look at how active you are (or aren’t) – an active lifestyle will help to lower your levels. You don’t even need to do that much, so if you’re still deciding if fitness is your thing, or you know your fitness levels are low, don’t worry – you only need to do approx. 2 hours of exercise each week!

There are so many fun ways to workout in 2 hours! It’s the equivalent of: Or even, a good old brisk walk!

Just so long as you’re increasing your heart rate and breaking a sweat, you know you’re working out hard enough to start bringing down your cholesterol.

Does changing my diet help?

Yes! Not only will you need to increase your activity levels, you need to start watching what you’re eating. Foods such as cheese, biscuits and sausages all contain a high amount of saturated fats which increase your levels if you have too much.

Eating foods which contain unsaturated fats or have plenty of fibre will help to bring your levels down. Include a mix of fish, seeds, vegetable and approx. 30g of fibre to keep a steady cholesterol level.

It’s also not just about what you eat, but how you’re cooking. Reducing the total amount of fat in your foods by grilling, poaching or boiling will have a significant impact over frying and roasting. It also helps to prepare a meal-plan!

Whether you’re a meat-eater or prefer a veggie or vegan diet, preparing your meals in advance can help you make sure you’re eating the right foods, the right quantities and still enjoy every bite.

Don’t let your levels get too low!

On the flip side, you don’t want your cholesterol levels to get too low either as it might start giving you other health problems such as anxiety, haemorrhages or depression. Eating more saturated fats and increasing your meal portions will help to balance you back out.

It’s important to keep an eye on your cholesterol levels all the time, not just for National Cholesterol Month. Make time to work-out and plan your meals, as well as paying more attention to the types of food your eating.

At Places Gym, we're made to move you. If you’re in need of advice on how to keep your body healthy or, where you should start on your fitness journey, just speak with a personal trainer!!

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