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Activity and exercise improve heart numbersIn recognition of National Heart Month, if you are not familiar with these terms, here’s a quick and easy guide.

Every six months I get my blood work checked. The numbers that I watch carefully are those described below. Since some of my numbers have been creeping up, I’m motivated to change my eating habits and increase my aerobic exercises: anything to stay off meds and live well. Delay the disease by understanding the significance of these conditions.

Heart and blood vessel conditions, including coronary artery disease, heart failure and heart valve problems, stroke, peripheral arterial disease, among others.

A waxy fat created in the liver and circulated in the blood stream. Friendly (think “healthier version”), high-density lipoprotein is the “good” heart-protecting cholesterol. High levels of the bad-boy (I also call this the lousy version), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), can lead to sticky plaque deposits that can cause arterial blockages.

Usually lumped together with other cholesterol levels. This type represents any type of calories stored as fat that the body uses for energy. Left unburned (aerobic exercise and diet help), these levels will shoot up, increasing your risk for heart disease.

A dangerous cluster of conditions (such as high blood pressure, excess abdominal fat, elevated blood sugar, and abnormal cholesterol) that can send you spiraling toward heart disease: it’s rising quickly among women ages 20 to 39 and is preventable or reversible through diet and exercise. Click here to read more about metabolic syndrome.

Be sure to laugh every day – it reduces blood pressure and so will listening to music because it lowers stress hormones according to Jennifer H. Mieres, M.D. clinical nuclear cardiologist.

As noted, food and activity play an important role in prevention and correction. For more information about keeping your heart healthy, while easing into a new year, visit our website at LoriMichielFitness.com or contact us via email or call 818-620-1442. We see fitness differently!

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