Home > Health Library > High Cholesterol: Making Lifestyle Changes
High cholesterol is treated with heart-healthy lifestyle changes and medicine. These can lower your cholesterol and your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. You and your doctor may decide to first try treating your high cholesterol without medicine. Changing some of your habits may be all you need to do to lower your risk. Your doctor might suggest that you take medicine too. But medicines don't replace these healthy habits.
The truth is that making lifestyle changes takes some work. And making lifestyle changes that become part of your normal routine is harder still. The key is to make small changes and make them a habit. And when you've turned one small change into a lifelong habit, start again with another small change.
Below you'll find some tips for making small changes that can help you get started on healthy changes.
Here are a few tips to get you started on making small changes at home:
At the grocery store:
You don't have to run out and join a gym to get active. Start small, and try to make exercise a part of your daily routine.
For some people, some forms of physical activity might be unsafe or should only be started after talking with a doctor. If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor before starting any exercise or fitness program.
Here are a few tips if you're just starting out:
Remember that getting more active to raise your HDL is not a one-time thing. Activity is something to build into your daily life, for the rest of your life.
Here are a few tips for taking the next step.
If you need to lose a few pounds to reach a healthy weight, don't think you have to try a radical fad diet.
The best way to lose weight is to eat better and move more. Eating smaller portions of healthier food will make you feel better. And along with exercise or even light activity, eating better can help you lose extra pounds if you have them.
Look back at the tips for healthy eating and staying active. Make these changes into a habit, and you'll be on your way to a healthy weight.
Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. But it isn't easy. Here are a few tips for when you're ready to quit:
Other Works Consulted
Eckel RH, et al. (2013). 2013 AHA/ACC guideline on lifestyle management to reduce cardiovascular risk: A report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Circulation. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2013/11/11/01.cir.0000437740.48606.d1.citation. Accessed December 5, 2013.
Current as of:
March 12, 2014
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology & Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
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