Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.

22Jul/200

Cardio & Cholesterol

For most of my adult life I've been chasing a lower cholesterol number. For over a decade following a vegan diet and doing yoga has done the trick. Now at 50 it's not working so well. My doctor tested my blood at the beginning of the year and the numbers were high.

This month she tested again, an expanded panel on lipids, and the numbers are still high. Better than January, after months of student cookie gifts, donuts, and fried potatoes of all kinds. We hoped we'd see a significant change since the pandemic has kept us from eating out as much and I don't see students anymore.

The numbers did improve, but not as much as we'd hoped. Also not as much as expected, given my diet. I am not fat free and do get a fair bit of saturated fat from things like nuts, avocados, coconut milk in stuff, chips, and chocolate. Even then, I don't eat those things daily or excessively.

My doctor said she's wondering about a genetic issue.

I really don't want to have to go on a long search for a statin that doesn't cause joint pain, something I already live with, and doesn't cause brain fog. Something I also live with since C-PTSD causes me enough Trauma Brain fog already.

Today I sent my doctor some more family history, my concerns about statins, and a couple of questions of things I haven't done yet. The big one question I have is around exercise that raises my heart rate. The yoga I do has helped reduce my cortisol levels, but it doesn't really get my heart rate up.

My therapist and I discussed this too, I noted that in these pandemic days the only way my heart rate is getting up there is rage. While this is a good joke, we both agreed that some amount of time each day with my heart rate up will help with the rage and anxiety I'm experiencing, even if it doesn't help my LDL cholesterol!

I jumped right into it after that discussion. The past couple of nights I've done a very brisk, twenty minute walk on the treadmill. Today I also explored the Fitness Boxing game on the Switch, it's got a 3 day trial. I was surprised to find I really enjoy the boxing, so we're going to buy it and more controllers so we can both play it together.

I'm not actually getting my heart rate up to true "cardio" range, but high enough that I'm sweating and a little winded. Our treadmill gives some heart rate details, so I know I'm not staying up very high. My asthma doesn't do great at a high rate, it never has. I mentioned all this to my doctor in my letter today and asked if I have to be at a high burn for a long time to make any difference or is just getting it up higher for 20-30 minutes a day enough to potentially help?

I got to sleep faster last night. Tonight my mind's going fast, so I'm just writing this all out on my laptop to get it out! Now onto a little down dog and meditation.

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