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woman exercising with jump-rope outdoors

Physical activity is an important aspect of life, and getting enough of it can seem impossible. I have discussed many benefits of physical activity. You should read my other posts, Improved Muscle Strength,  Post Exercise Hypotension and of course in my book, Second Chance at Health. Now I have one more benefit to share with you, it can lower your cholesterol!

Exercise and Cholesterol Reduction

A single bout of aerobic exercise can result in immediate decreases of  blood cholesterols. Specifically, the triglycerides decrease by 10-25%, and high-density lipoproteins  increase (HDL- the “good”cholesterol). These changes were noted after 1-2 days for untrained and trained adults. They expended between 350 kcal – 500kcal and 1000 kcal respectively per exercise session.

This research article did not describe what exercises they did, but the exercises that could expended this number of calories varies. It could include walking at a fast pace, 4.5 -5 miles per hour for 1 hour, gardening for 1 ½ hours, biking at 14-16 mile/hour for 30 min, or jumping rope for 30 min.

How does this translate into real life?

I suggest that if you are trying to regain your health, that you focus on adding additional activity to your day. If you work long hours and want to just sit on the couch when you get home, you have three options.

  1. Opt for increasing your exercise during the day with NEAT, (taking the farthest parking spot, taking the stairs, standing at your desk, taking a walking lunch, using the farthest restroom).
  2. Exercise BEFORE you go to work.
  3. Or every commercial do squats, jumping jacks, arm circles, burpees, sit ups. You get the picture. Even if you did this every other day, you will have your body working for you for a day or two after.

Choosing an active life style that includes eating wholesome foods most of the time can greatly reduce your chances of needing medication support as you age. If you opt to adopt an active lifestyle with wholesome foods, then you could even reduce or eliminate any medications prescribed for many diseases.

I have written a book that can guide you to the best exercise and eating plans for your individual likes, needs and desires.

Order your book now to seize your second chance at health.

Bounds, RG, Grandjean PW, Obrien BC, Inman C, Crouse SE. Diet and short term plasma lipoprotein-lipid changes after exercise in trained men. Int J Sport Ntur Exerc Metab 2000:10:114-27.

How to Lower Blood Pressure for Fitness after 40

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Physical activity is an important aspect of life, and getting enough of it can seem impossible. I have discussed many benefits of physical activity.  See my other posts Pre-Diabetes, Active Living, Insulin Resistance and of course in my book, Second Chance at Health. Now I have one more benefit to share with you.

Post Exercise Hypotension

Another fascinating physiological benefit that occurs after exercise is lowered blood pressure. The medical name is post exercise hypotension. This effect has been established for a long time and it is more noticeable in people with hypertension.  Amazingly, a significant reduction in both systolic and diastolic numbers occurs and persists for up to almost a day (22 hours). The reduction demonstrated are 11 mmHg for systolic and 6 mmHg for diastolic readings. This means, if your blood pressure is normally 140/90, it can be reduced to 129/84!

You don’t have to run or even jog. It is demonstrated that low intensity exercise, as defined as 40% maximal heart rate, can result in post exercise hypotension that can last all day! So even a slow stroll can improve your blood pressure.

(To calculate your maximal heart rate, it is recommended to subtract your age from 220. To calculate your the 40% you would multiply that number by .40. For example, I am 48, thus 220-48=172. 172 x.40=69.

How does this translate into real life?

Just start walking! It is the best low intensity exercise! Do it daily and you will reap the benefits.

What are the benefits?

Short term your blood pressure will drop, if you keep it up long term your medication may be reduced.

You will feel better.

You will have a more positive outlook on life.

In my book, Second Chance at Health, I can help you discover the best eating plans and exercise plans that will change your life.

Purchase my book today and grab your second chance at health.



Insulin Resistance and Fitness After 40

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Blood sample test and empty tube blood for blood test screening.

The human body is amazing and complicated and when if functions properly we feel healthy. However, when there is an interruption in function we begin to feel unwell. One common condition involves changes in how our body responds to insulin. When our bodies fail to manage insulin properly, this is insulin resistance and our health  will begin to deteriorate.

Insulin resistance occurs when the body loses the inability to respond properly to the hormone insulin. It is often related to obesity, although there are other medical causes.

Insulin resistance can lead to diabetes type 2 but it is not inevitable. With changes in diet and activity level, and perhaps medication, you can reverse insulin resistance. In my book, Second Chance at Health-Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating, I provide you with tools and ideas how to find the best eating plans and movement plans that can ameliorate this condition.

I will discuss the type of insulin resistance that is seen in overweight and obese adults in this post, and what you can do to avoid it or improve it.

What is Insulin Resistance?

Insulin is a hormone that is produced in the pancreas that is produced to transport sugar into the cells for use as energy or to be stored as fat. When the cells become resistant to insulin, two significant changes occur. First, the insulin levels rise in order to have more available to transport sugar, which does help in the short term, but then the body becomes even more resistant. Subsequently blood sugar elevations occur as the cells are unable to use the sugar in the blood, and this is when pre-diabetes and diabetes is diagnosed. Too much sugar in blood negatively affects nerves, the cardiovascular system and more.

It is known that elevated insulin (hyperinsulinemia) and insulin resistance often precedes diabetes type 2. Hyperinsulinemia can be identified with the measurement of insulin level by a lab test. You may go to my Ulta Lab Test NurseChrisP site to determine your insulin level and then present the results of the test to your doctor for his/her direction of your care.

What does Hyperinsulinemia or Insulin Resistance Feel Like?

There are no symptoms of insulin resistance. Any symptoms that do appear are related to the elevated blood sugar that ultimately occurs when the sugars cannot be moved out of the blood into our cells and used. The symptoms of elevated blood sugar include fatigue, difficulty concentrating and hunger. Measurable signs include elevated blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, and fat around the middle. These are also the signs for a condition called Metabolic Syndrome.

What can Cause Insulin Resistance?

Poor diet and lack of exercise and the resulting obesity can cause this condition. Additionally chronic stress can play a role too. Steroids taken for other medical conditions can also contribute. Certain diseases, such as Cushing’s Disease or Poly Cystic Ovarian Disease can also be a factor.

How to Avoid Insulin Resistance

Avoiding insulin resistance that is related to inactivity and obesity is as simple as maintaining a healthy weight and living an active lifestyle. Using BMI (Body Mass Index) can be useful as a guideline and maintaining a BMI of less than 24.9 is the recommendation. Activity should be, at a minimum 150 minutes of moderate exercise or equivalent per week. 10K steps per day is a great goal to set.

If you already have insulin resistance simply increasing your daily physical activity can improve your insulin sensitivity. One study has shown that insulin sensitivity increases by 20% after just one hour of aerobic exercise and persists for approximately 20-48 hours thereafter,

Lab testing recommendations

Blood testing is the only way to determine if your blood sugar or insulin level is elevated.  Fasting blood tests are the most accurate. Fasting for 8-12 hours will give you the best and most reliable results. If you have a fasting blood sugar that is over the normal, it is recommended that you recheck it every 2 years. That is not frequent enough for me. I do not recommend waiting for 2 years to go by before addressing it. If you have elevated blood sugar or elevated insulin levels, lifestyle changes should be made immediately and then I recommend rechecking again in 3-6 months. Ulta Lab testing offers a Metabolic Syndrome Package with insulin.

However, lab testing is not necessary. If you are obese, have a waist circumference of more than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men, with confirmed high cholesterol, you can fairly say that you have insulin resistance.

Reversing Suspected or Confirmed Insulin Resistance with Lifestyle Changes

Reversing suspected or confirmed insulin resistance is simple.  Halting insulin resistance that is not related to another serious health condition it possible.  Changes to diet and activity level are recommended to improve how our bodies handle insulin and sugar.

The recommended diet changes include ketogenic diets, very low carbohydrate and very low calorie diets. Significant exercise and a healthy diet can reverse insulin resistance.

Simply increasing your physical activity daily will improve your insulin sensitivity, even if you don’t lose any weight. Aim for 40-60 minutes per day. Dividing up the physical exercise through out the day is an option that yields similar benefits.

By using my book, the Second Chance at Health-Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating , you can choose the best diet and the best exercise that can possibly reverse the condition and  reduce your risk for this condition.

If you are overweight or obese, and feel fatigued and have difficulty concentrating why not check your insulin level?

Visit your.  doctor and ask if he or she is concerned about this condition. You may also use my lab test link here Ulta Lab Test NurseChrisP and check for yourself. You could also measure your waist at just above your hip bones, and if you are over the recommendation, and obese (BMI <30), have high cholesterol and high blood pressure, then you most likely are insulin resistant to some degree.

Disclaimer: always seek care from your primary care provider for any health issues or concerns that you have.

In summary, lifestyle changes will improve or eliminate insulin resistance that is not the result of another serious health condition. Improving or eliminating hyperinsulinemia can help you avoid the progression to diabetes.

Order my book now to reduce your risk for diabetes by choosing to love active living and clean eating!


Ross Can J Cardiol 2008 PMC: 2794451).