High cholesterol: The ‘fun activity’ that could lower levels and boost longevity – key tip
High cholesterol is a fatty molecule found in the body, lodged in plaque in the arteries. The amount of cholesterol in the blood is affected mainly by dietary saturated fat found in animal products. Once heart complications arise, individuals may experience shortness of breath, chest pain or angina, which signals the condition may already be irreversible. One preventative measure for the condition is physical activity, and researchers have determined that dancing could effectively lower blood lipid profiles.
Researchers investigating the effects of dancing on postmenopausal women noticed a significant improvement in their cholesterol levels.
The study suggests dancing regimens could have credible benefits in lowering the lipid profile and functional fitness of postmenopausal women.
Menopause typically occurs in women at the age of 51, however symptoms can start several years before that.
It is believed around one percent will start to experience symptoms at the age of 40. Symptoms of menopause include hot flushes, night sweats, sleep loss, weight gain, mood swings, anxiety and forgetfulness.
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Since women are at higher odds of gaining weight after menopause, this can increase her cardiovascular risk.
Menopause is influenced by genetics, therefore the age at which a woman’s mother went through menopause will be an indication of when she might notice symptoms herself.
Many women who enter ‘perimenopause’ describe having erratic periods, which sometimes occur months apart from each other.
Researchers who felt compelled to understand the effects of dancing on the body, set out to investigate its effects on metabolic profile, functional fitness and self-images, self-esteem in postmenopausal women.
Doctor Stephanie Faubion said: “This study highlights the feasibility of a simple intervention, such as a dance class three times weekly, for improving not only fitness and metabolic profile but also self-image and self-esteem in postmenopausal women.
“In addition to these benefits, women also probably enjoyed a sense of comradery from the shared experience of learning something new.”
The UK government recommends two and a half hours of moderate-intensity exercise per week to ward off the condition.
High cholesterol triggers inflammation and the release of certain hormones causing blood vessels to constrict.
The condition, however, can also be reversed with the help of foods rich in dietary fibre.
Researchers have therefore investigated alternative routes to cure the condition, with diet at the forefront of preventative measures.
Some foods, notably spices, have proven effective in lowering LDL levels, with WebMD stating: “Research shows that eating a half to one clove of garlic each day could lower cholesterol up to nine percent.”
A line of evidence suggests that cholesterol levels that do not budge with improved diet and physical activity may be caused by genetic factors.
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