February 2012

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 13 of 83

live in good health Take a Number Your goal: Total cholesterol level should be less than 200 mg Cholesterol is essential to certain bodily func- tions—but too much isn't a good thing. Your total cholesterol profile gives your doctor a look at these and other components in your blood. While a very important number to know, understanding the breakdown between the kinds of cholesterol in your body—especially LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, and HDL, or "good" cholesterol —is key to being aware of your risk. Your goal: Reduce your LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, to less than 100 mg Low-density lipoprotein is dubbed the "bad" cholesterol thanks to its ability to build up on the walls of your arteries, a process that can start even at a young age. Keeping your LDL low through proper diet and exercise is one of the top ways to lower your risk of heart disease, heart attack or stroke. Your goal: Increase your HDL, or "good" cholesterol, to 50 mg or higher Yes, some cholesterol is good. High-density lipopro- tein is the cholesterol protecting against heart disease by removing bad cholesterol from building up. The higher your HDL, the lower your risk. Your goal: Keep triglycerides less than 150 mg Triglycerides are the fats in your blood from what we eat and drink and when levels are high, your blood is thicker, slower moving and puts you at higher risk for vascular disease. Not only that, triglycerides turn into HDL or LDL depending on easily controllable factors. Want to transform your triglycerides into HDL, or the "good" cholesterol? Eat right and get active. 12 BRAVA Magazine February 2012 30 50 150 Download a When it comes to marking National Heart Month, there is a single number to remember: One. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women. Fight back by learning a few numbers of your own, particularly the nine factors that reduce your risk. Here, Dr. Karen Moncher, a cardiologist with UW Hospital and Clinics, decodes the American Heart Association's guidelines for a healthier you 200 100 list of heart-health questions appropriate for your age to take to your next checkup at 120 80 100 25 35 Your goal: Aim for a blood pressure reading of 120/80 or less Simply put, your blood pressure is a reading of how well your heart is pumping blood to your aorta and the rest of your body. A blood pressure reading higher than 120/80 is a sign you may be damaging your arteries, heart and other organs. Your goal: Maintain a fasting glucose of 100 mg or less Medical professionals use the fasting glucose test to determine how well your body regulates itself. If the glucose, or sugar, levels in your blood are too high, this can be a sign of medical issues such as dia- betes that put you at higher risk for heart disease. Your goal: Achieve a Body Mass Index of 25 or less A calculation that determines the healthy weight for your height, BMI is a better way to think about your weight than the number on the scale alone. Remaining below a BMI of 25 (but above 18.5), helps doctors understand your body fat levels, as well as your risk factors for a host of health issues including heart disease. Your goal: Maintain a 35-inch (or smaller) waistline Abdominal fat places you at greater risk for developing cardiovascular issues. Main- taining a waist circumfer- ence of 35 inches or less has been shown to reduce the complications that carrying excess fat can bring. Your goal: Get 30 minutes of exercise a day Five times (or more) a week, aim to fit in a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise to your days. If you're just starting out, take it one day at a time, work your way up, and don't be afraid to mix in weight training and other activities to build muscle, burn fat and help you feel great. Your heart will thank you for it. > > > > > > > > /

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Brava - February 2012