Do something for yourself this month!
It's been just about a month now since 150 inspiring women from all over the country joined me for my women's getaway, Camp Reveille. The weekend was spectacular – we played, talked, worked out, shared stories & experiences, and had a ton of fun! But while at camp, we also learned a lot in classes like “Knowing Our Numbers to Protect Our Health.” Some of these numbers are our blood pressure, resting heart rate, and fasting blood sugar. Depending on our age and risk factors, we as women need several screenings to check these numbers and ensure our long-lasting good health. Another one of these numbers is our cholesterol levels and since this month is Cholesterol Education Month, I want to take a moment to remind everyone to go get yourself checked out!
Whenever we hear the word cholesterol, it immediately conjures up something negative, (I know it does for me!) but cholesterol is not necessarily a bad thing. There are two types of cholesterol, the “good” and the “bad” and believe it or not, the body uses cholesterol to keep us healthy. It’s when our numbers are too high that we can run into trouble, and this is especially important for women. Many people think that high cholesterol is just a man’s problem but that is NOT true. Since women have estrogen in their bodies, our HDL (the “good” cholesterol) tends to be higher than a man’s. It’s important to know our levels on both, because too much of one type can put us at risk for heart disease, a heart attack, or even a stroke.
Knowing our cholesterol levels can help us with the prevention of heart disease which is the leading cause of death among women in this country. A woman should get her first cholesterol test at age 20 and get re-tested every five years, or more often if your cholesterol is over 200. The test measures your total cholesterol, your LDL or low-density lipoprotein, (the “bad” cholesterol), your HDL or high-density (the “good” cholesterol), lipoprotein and triglycerides. If you discover that your cholesterol is elevated, you should discuss measures that you can take to bring it down with your doctor. If you have high levels, your doctor might also suggest testing for diabetes.
Throughout September there are pharmacies and health fairs going on all over the country that will test your numbers for free, so it’s a great time to take advantage of those options!
To find out about the risks of cholesterol, your levels & what they mean, and what you can do to lower your cholesterol, visit: American Heart Association Information about your cholesterol