Every day you automatically do many healthy habits, from brushing your teeth to washing your face without much hesitation or inconsistency. Just as easily, without much interruption to your routine, other healthy actions, from smiling to dicing a handful of vegetables into your pasta sauce, can become part of your day. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to incorporate a few changes that can make significant change in your health. To help you get started, here are 7 simple ways to lower cholesterol, high blood pressure, and lose weight.
Quick, Simple Ways to Lower Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure, and Lose Weight
In a culture, entrenched with philosophies that, complicated applications achieve better results, it may be hard to imagine that simple actions can be effective. Yet, researchers have noted small, healthy changes make a significant impact on your health. Here are 7 simple ways to lower cholesterol, high blood pressure, and lose weight.
1. | Avoid Added Sugar
High cholesterol is usually addressed with a low-fat diet, but that’s not the best way to lower cholesterol, cautions Dr. Danine Fruge, Medical Director at the Pritikin Center. Sugar is a sneaky cholesterol elevating culprit. “…the way sugar is metabolized, by anyone who has any belly fat at all, which is almost all of us, [sugar] will eventually turn up as cholesterol in blood work,” explains Dr. Fruge. One of the best ways to lower cholesterol is to avoid sugar. Sugar hides in all sorts of convenience foods, such as sugary beverages, candy, baked treats, prepared sauces, salad dressings, and processed and packaged convenience foods).
What to Eat to Lower Cholesterol
Eating more fiber should be on the top of the list of simple ways to lower cholesterol. You can eat more fiber by simply swapping your white pasta for whole grain, or snacking on a pear instead of a packaged sugar cookie. Fiber helps lower cholesterol by trapping excess cholesterol in the gut. Fiber holds cholesterol captive, then excretes it the next time you visit the porcelain throne. By doing this, fiber reduces how much cholesterol can get absorbed into the bloodstream, ultimately helping to lower your cholesterol.
2. | Sneak in More Vegetables
Eating fiber is a quick, simple way to lower cholesterol, naturally. Most American adults do not eat a lot of fiber (average 16 grams per day). Experts, like the team of Nutritionists at the Pritikin Center, suggest eating about 35-50 grams of fiber per day. A simple way to bump up your fiber intake is to add a few more whole foods into your meals. Whole foods include vegetables, beans, fruits, and whole grains. It’s as simple as adding a handful of berries to your morning bowl of oatmeal or including tomato and lettuce to your sandwich. Why stop there? Eating vegetables is one of the simplest ways to lower cholesterol, high blood pressure, and lose weight.
3. | Exercise Regularly
Whether you’re breaking a sweat doing fun dance moves in your kitchen, lifting weights, or striding down the road, according to evidence from 13 published investigations, doing exercise helps lower cholesterol. Finding simple ways to lower cholesterol is important, as chronic high cholesterol can lead to coronary heart disease. Ready to get moving? Choose an exercise that brings you joy: that could be yoga on a mat at home, with friends at a Rumba class, or a lively game of tag with the kids at the park.
How Much Exercise is Best to Lower Cholesterol?
Research to date hasn’t concluded on a finite number of ideal minutes of exercise; however, evidence points to including both aerobic exercise and resistance training to benefit cardiovascular health. If you need another little boost to get some pep in your step, know that research shows exercise lowers cholesterol, high blood pressure, and helps you lose weight.
Can Exercise Lower High Blood Pressure?
Add exercise into your plans today as it’s a simple way to lower high blood pressure. Experts note, in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension, that aerobic exercise can be an effective treatment for blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Aerobic exercise is sometimes called a cardio workout, which involves increasing your heart rate with significant movement, but still being able to maintain a conversation (the term aerobic means with oxygen). Adding aerobic exercise into your day can be easy – it requires no equipment at all! Make it fun by adding music, or involving a friend.
How Much Exercise is Required to Reduce High Blood Pressure?
According to a study in the American Journal of Hypertension, even moderate increases in physical activity can lower high blood pressure in sedentary people. To lower high blood pressure, you do not have to join a gym or decide to become a marathon runner. Start with a small, attainable goal to take 500 more steps, or to fit in 5 more minutes of physical activity today than yesterday. When you make small, attainable goals you can achieve and build confidence each step of your way towards a healthier you.
Do I Have to Exercise to Lose Weight?
Interestingly, experts have shown exercise appears to help you keep the weight off! According to a study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women who exercised as part of a weight loss program were less likely to regain weight. It’s important to find a way to enjoy physical activity, and get advice on how to exercise without pain. A proper exercise plan created by Certified Personal Trainers, and small, sustainable goals is the key to successful weight loss.
How to Exercise to Lower Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure, and Lose Weight
Are you ready to get moving? The fitness experts at Pritikin have got some helpful at-home workouts ready for you. Yes, you can start today! Breaking into a sweat in a way that makes you smile can be one of the most fun, yet simple ways to lower cholesterol, high blood pressure, and lose weight. Most importantly, moving your body feels great – exercise is well known to boost your mood.
4. | Smile Often
Attitude has everything to do with health. Could seeing the glass as half full really impact your health and wellbeing? Yes! According to research studies, optimism is beneficial for health. Researchers at the University of Valencia in Spain found heart health improved with a positive mindset. In the study of 140 people with Type 2 Diabetes, optimism notably helped reduce the negative impacts of stress on cardiovascular health. Thinking positively reduced how much of the stress hormone, cortisol, was released in the body. As well, heart rate and blood pressure declined. The researchers concluded that individuals with Type 2 Diabetes who incorporate a more positive mindset experienced better health.
5. | Reduce Alcohol Consumption
In today’s world, “…with no buffers to stress, there is more loneliness, more depression, and more addiction, including eating or drinking too much.” Many of us eat and drink too much. These are obviously not ways to lower cholesterol, high blood pressure, or lose weight. In fact, research has linked high blood pressure with heavy alcohol consumption, as well as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
6. | Eat More Whole Foods/Less Processed Foods
You can naturally lower your blood pressure by changing a few things that are on your fork. The nation’s experts, the American Heart Association say, dietary factors “have a prominent, and likely predominant, role in blood pressure control.” In particular, sodium, animal meats, and processed meats are linked with a higher incidence of hypertension. Meanwhile, putting fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans on your fork, as well as foods naturally rich in potassium and magnesium, can help lower high blood pressure.
Can I Lower High Blood Pressure Quickly?
Within as little as 3 days, some guests at the Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa in Miami, Florida no longer need blood pressure medication. “That’s how quickly and powerfully our bodies respond to healthy food, exercise, and other positive lifestyle changes,” says Dr. Fruge. Clinical studies have shown, of those who follow a Pritikin style diet, 83 percent no longer need high blood pressure medication, and of the remaining 17 percent most had their high blood pressure medication reduced.
7. | Get Help From Experts
The best way to lower cholesterol, high blood pressure, and lose weight is to get help from experts at the Pritikin Center. Pritikin’s team of board-certified doctors, nutritionists, chefs, fitness, and mental health experts have helped more than 100,000 guests from around the world – many of whom are just like you.
The Best Way to Lower Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure, and Lose Weight
In more than 100 studies published in prestigious medical journals, the Pritikin Program is one of the most effective ways to lower cholesterol, high blood pressure, and lose weight naturally.
Discover how to incorporate these simple ways into your unique lifestyle – and more! Find foods that you enjoy eating and exercises that bring you joy at the Pritikin Center. The Pritikin Program has been proven to help prevent and control many of the world’s leading killers, including diabetes and heart disease – you can start today!
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- How much exercise is required to reduce blood pressure in essential hypertensives: a dose–response study. Am J Hypertension 2003 Aug;16(8):6299-633.
- The effectiveness of aerobic exercise for hypertensive population: A systematic review and meta‐analysis. J Clin Hypertension 2019 June;21(7).
- Individual and combined effects of dietary factors on risk of incident hypertension. Hypertension 2017 July 31;70:712-720.
- Free-living activity energy expenditure in women successful and unsuccessful at maintaining a normal body weight. Am J Clin Nutr 2002 Mar;75(3):499-504.
- Optimism moderates psychophysiological responses to stress in older people with Type 2 diabetes. Psychophysiology 2017 Apr; 54(4): 536-543.
- Sex-Specific Associations Between Alcohol Consumption and Incidence of Hypertension: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies. J Am Heart Assoc 2018 Jun 27;7(13):e00802.
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