October is National Cholesterol Month which is all about raising the awareness & importance of maintaining a healthy cholesterol level. During October we'll be sharing on our website & social media how
'Small changes can make a big difference' to your cholesterol levels & heart health through your habit, diet & exercise.
Week 1 - habits
We all have habits we'd like to change - whether it's wanting to stop snacking on sugary treats between meals or trying to be more active instead of sitting in front of the TV. But making these small changes to our habits can make a big difference to our cholesterol levels and general heart health.
For National Cholesterol Month we have created a downloadable Habit Tracker to help you identify a habit you would like to start or stop. Start off with one habit you'd like to change and fill out the tracker to help you stick with it.
Week 2 - diet
Healthy eating can make a huge difference to your cholesterol levels and your heart health, whether your cholesterol has crept up over the years or you have a genetic condition.
We have created an online diet checklist to help you to assess the quality of your diet with regard to lowering your cholesterol. There are 16 questions and you should answer with either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to each question - it should only take you about 10 minutes to complete the questions. Your results will show you where improvements to your diet can be made to help lower your cholesterol.
Food tracking short-term can also be a healthy way to find patterns in your diet so you can make much-needed changes. We have created a meal tracker for National Cholesterol Month to help you identify small changes you can make to your diet to help lower your cholesterol, like eating 3 portions of wholegrains each day and eating 2 portions of fish each week.
Click here - for more information on what makes up a heart-healthy diet.
Easy ways to eat healthily
Week 3 - exercise
Being active is a major part of looking after your cholesterol levels and keeping your heart healthy. Adults should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of intense activity every week - if you can do more that’s even better.
For National Cholesterol Month we have created an Exercise Planner to help you plan how you can get more activity into your day. Exercise planners have many benefits. They can motivate you and make the whole endeavour of getting regular exercise so much easier. A good plan keeps you going and makes you more proficient at building healthy habits.
There are lots of ways to be active. You don’t have to use a gym or join the local football team if it’s not your cup of tea. Instead, see where you can fit extra bursts of activity into your day. Find things that you enjoy doing so that you’re more likely to stick with them in the long term. Make them part of your routine and form new healthy habits.
You can also visit NHS ONE YOU. They have lots of ideas and support for getting active, including a free app, ways to get fit for free at home, and Couch to 5K – a plan to take you from total beginner to running 5K in 9 weeks.
Week 4 - Reflection
Small Changes can make a big difference
Making small changes to your diet, and increasing the amount of activity and exercise you do, all add up to make a big difference to help improve your cholesterol levels and overall heart health.
Focus on making one or two small changes at a time, and once you're happy you've been successful in maintaining the changes, pick another one or two to focus on, and continue to repeat. It is much easier to make changes this way rather than trying to do everything at once.
How can I support National Cholesterol Month?
We have created the following images that you can use on social media to show your support. Please also like, comment and share HEART UK posts across our social media channels. Also please share anything you are doing for National Cholesterol Month -
Remember to use #nationalcholesterolmonth
Facebook & Twitter