Chances are you have heard of Metabolic Syndrome (formerly referred to as Syndrome X). Although various organizations have slightly different criteria, the risk factors usually cited are:
- Waist circumference greater than 40 inches in men and greater than 35 inches in women.
- A serum triglyceride level above 150 mg/dL or taking a cholesterol medication.
- HDL cholesterol below 40 mg/dL in men and below 50 mg/dL in women or taking a cholesterol medication.
- High blood pressure—135/85 mm Hg or greater or taking a hypertensive medication.
- High blood sugar—fasting blood glucose 100 mg/dL or above.
If you have three or more of the above markers, the syndrome is present, and your risk for health issues such as diabetes, heart attack, and/or stroke increases.
Take another look at the above indicators. What do you notice? You are, for the most part, in control of these.
With proper lifestyle changes, such as exercise, nutrition—eating whole foods (avoiding sugar, refined carbohydrates, processed food, etc.), and if you smoke, quitting, you could possibly lower your blood pressure, lower your cholesterol, lower your triglycerides levels, reduce your waist size, and normalize your blood sugar levels.
Think about the influence you have over your health and wellbeing. Begin taking control by making healthy lifestyle changes.
To make it easy, start with small shifts. You don’t need to develop a three-month health/fitness program or even a four-week one. As I mentioned in an earlier post: “How about a walk at lunch or after dinner? Perhaps taking the stairs instead of using the elevator, or periodically stand up during the day and do some bodyweight exercises.”
By taking simple steps, you’ll avoid adding additional stress to your life (the last thing you need). Also, begin to notice how you feel as you make your positive, healthy lifestyle changes.