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Walk Your Way to Lower Cholesterol

Wednesday, Sep 09, 2015
Walk with a Doc
Walk With a Doc: Wednesday, September 16 @ 8 am

Cardiologist Mary Ann Williamson, MD leads the September 16th Walk with a Doc event at Doylestown Hospital. She plans to offer a “4-Minute Guide to Managing Cholesterol.”

If there was a simple way to reduce your cholesterol without medication, would you try it?

How does taking a walk sound?

Being physically active is a great way to reduce your cholesterol. Exercise (like walking), along with eating healthy foods and losing weight if you need to, are keys to keeping cholesterol numbers in check.

At the upcoming Walk with a Doc event on September 16, cardiologist MaryAnn Williamson, MD will share a 4-minute guide to cholesterol management before the walk. The short talk will give walkers key information about cholesterol and why it’s important to keep cholesterol numbers under control.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in all cells of the body. Your body does need some cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help with food digestion. Cholesterol is also found in some of the foods you eat.

What are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol?

  • LDL (low-density lipoproteins) cholesterol sometimes is called “bad” cholesterol. A high LDL level leads to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries, a major cause of heart disease. Think of LDL as the “lousy” cholesterol.
  • HDL (high-density lipoproteins) cholesterol sometimes is called “good” cholesterol as it carries cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver, which removes the cholesterol from your body. A higher level of HDL decreases the risk for heart disease.

How does high cholesterol affect heart health?

High cholesterol often leads to coronary heart disease, a condition in which plaque builds up inside the heart’s arteries. Plaque hardens over time and narrows the heart’s arteries, restricting blood flow. It also leads to dysfunction of the cells lining the arteries walls. Plaque can rupture, causing a heart attack. Plaque that builds up in the body’s other arteries can lead to stroke. 

How can I lower my cholesterol?

Eating a healthy diet, managing your weight and getting enough physical activity are ways to reduce the cholesterol in your blood. Some people also take medication if these lifestyle changes do not lower their cholesterol levels.

Is walking good physical activity?

Regular physical activity (30 to 40 minutes on most, if not all, days) is recommended for most adults. Regular physical activity can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

What is Walk with a Doc?

Doylestown Health has joined with the Walk with a Doc exercise program to encourage healthy physical activity for our community. Created by an Ohio cardiologist to promote wellness, the program is growing across the country as hospitals and physicians come on board to improve the well-being of their neighbors.

A great crowd of walkers turned out for Doylestown Health’s first local Walk with a Doc event in July. The program is being offered once a month. Each event features a Doylestown Health cardiologist sharing tips for heart disease prevention followed by a 30- to 45-minute walk around the Doylestown Hospital campus. Walkers are encouraged to go at their own pace (it’s not a race!). Walk with a Doc walking events are free.

When is the next Walk with a Doc?

  • Date: Wednesday, September 16
  • Time: 8 am (registration begins at 7:30 am)
  • Location: Grass area in front of public parking garage at Doylestown Hospital, 595 W. State Street, Doylestown, PA 18901

Find more information or register for these free programs online or by calling 215-345-2121.

Learn more about Doylestown Health's Richard A. Reif Heart Institute.

This event is sponsored by Doylestown Health's Friends of the Heart Institute, an all-volunteer organization committed to advancing the highest quality cardiac care to patients and their families.

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