What is Cholesterol? 5 Tips for Heart Health - Fit for Freelance

What is Cholesterol? 5 Tips for Heart Health

It's still American Heart Month, and your heart is still beating after all these years. That's ‚Äčgreat! But what is cholesterol, and how does it affect heart health?

Every once in a while, you'll see a commercial about meds for high cholesterol, or ‚Äčhear someone who's watching their cholesterol. You might think it has nothing to do with you, but when was the last time you had yours checked?

Can paying attention to your cholesterol save your life, or at least make you a productive, healthy entrepreneur?

Read more: What Does the Heart Do? 6 Tips for Heart Health

cholesterol facts

High cholesterol is a silent killer with no symptoms. Get checked every 5 years!

Why ‚Äčshould you care about cholesterol?

‚ÄčCholesterol is a key factor in heart attacks and strokes. The CDC cites that nearly 1 in 3 of American adults have high LDL ("high cholesterol"), and only 1 in 3 of them have it controlled.

remote wellness

‚ÄčWhat is cholesterol?

Your body makes the fat-like substance for cell walls and some hormones (popularly estrogen and testosterone). You also get some ‚Äčin foods, especially from animal sources. Cholesterol travels through the bloodstream on carriers called lipoproteins: low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and high-density lipoprotein (HDL).

What do LDL and HDL do?

High levels of LDL ‚Äúbad cholesterol," causes ‚Äčbuildup that hardens and blocks arteries (atherosclerosis). Hardened, blocked arteries increase risk for heart attack and stroke!

HDL, "good cholesterol," takes cholesterol to the liver to be removed from your body, which may protect against heart disease.

Read more: Know and Prevent Heart Attack and Stroke

‚ÄčHow can you prevent high cholesterol?

There are no obvious physical signs of high cholesterol. Per the National Cholesterol Education Program‚Äč, keep ‚Äčit at safe levels by:

  1. Get blood tested once every 5 years
  2. Eat a low-fat, high-fiber diet
  3. Maintain a healthy weight
  4. Get 2.5 hours of exercise/week
  5. Don't smoke

Visit American Heart Association Control Your Cholesterol to learn more!

‚ÄčWhy post about cholesterol?

‚ÄčCholesterol education is a feature of many top worksite wellness programs. When freelancers and entrepreneurs don't have access to wellness resources, they tend to wait until ‚Äča weird ache or caring spouse tells them to go to their healthcare provider.

That's too late- by then, you're looking at serious medical costs, ‚Äčmissing time at work, or maybe... resentment or something.

Fit for Freelance gives you wellness tools, online personal training, and education to keep you healthy, so you feel great and work better!

Click to learn about Fit for Freelance's mission: Freelance Wellness is Finally Here!


‚Äč‚Äč‚ÄčUpdate:‚Äč Since posting this blog, ‚Äč‚Äč‚Äčsome readers have pointed out articles questioning the current consensus of cholesterol studies. These articles are primarily concerned with the effectiveness of a common medicinal treatment for high cholesterol.

This blog focuses on science-based education and primary prevention of disease so freelancers improve their productivity and health. For more information, please consult your health care provider.

About the Author

Reggie Wilson is the founder of Fit for Freelance. He's a certified worksite wellness program manager, certified online trainer etc., but he most wants every entrepreneur to know how to lead the healthy, fulfilling life of their dreams. Read more about him here