When it comes to cholesterol, the main topics of discussion usually address diet and exercise. If you eat well and exercise, your cholesterol numbers will go down. But what if you’re eating right and getting in a perfect amount of physical activity, yet your numbers are not dropping? This could be incredibly frustrating – and your heart is still very much at risk because your cholesterol numbers are high. The problem is, you could be forgetting to target yet another important risk factor that is causing your cholesterol to rise. Luckily, it’s quite easy to fix.
Reduce stress to combat cholesterol
Stress comes with a bunch of detrimental effects on the body – cholesterol is one of them. This is why, even though you’re dieting and exercising, your cholesterol numbers may remain intact – you could be carrying around plenty of stress.
Stress is often an overlooked risk factor for cholesterol, though considering how easy it can be fixed it should be definitely addressed more often. Stress causes cortisol and adrenaline levels to rise, which in turn brings your cholesterol up. Furthermore, stress contributes to other cholesterol risk factors. For example, when under stress, we tend to eat unhealthier foods or opt out of working out.
Lifestyle modifications are often the first mode of treatment when it comes to curbing cholesterol. Although many people are aware of the roles diet and exercise play in cholesterol management, stress is another component the patients should address. Plus, stress reduction isn’t as complicated as you think!
Tips to reduce stress for healthier cholesterol
Here are some effective tips you can employ in order to reduce stress so you can start bringing down those cholesterol numbers.Find a hobby you love and practice it regularly – dancing, swimming, knitting, you name it.
- Listen to music.
- Exercise regularly.
- Go outdoors.
- Call up some friends or family and get social.
- Learn to say “no”.
- Avoid people and situations that stress you out.
- Express your feelings instead of bottling them up.
- Accept things that you cannot change.
- Meditate, try yoga or tai chi.
- Reduce alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco use.
- Keep a stress journal.
No matter how you choose to reduce stress, you should always find a healthy way to do so, because otherwise stress can take a negative toll on your body and health over time.