Some of us think if we fast the day before we can over-indulge on Thanksgiving day. Better to do 30 minutes of cardio about 12 hours before the big feast. Researchers have found that this exercise can help prevent one of the most damaging effects of over-eating – a spike in triglycerides. Triglycerides are a type of fat in the blood and measured in your cholesterol count. They are a big problem as they are very good at penetrating the arterial wall causing stroke and heart attack especially risky for women.
Researchers in Denmark found that women with high triglycerides (over 400) have a 17% more risk of stroke. High levels of triglycerides are also a sign of pre-diabetes or insulin impairment. Diabetes starts in the muscle. If the sugar isn’t used by muscle, it is stored in the liver in the form of fat. This is triglycerides. Eating a heavy fatty meal can impair the proper function of the blood vessels. Cardio exercise for 30 continuous minutes has been shown to reduce the peak of triglycerides that occur after eating a meal up to 12-16 hours later. Even light exercise like walking will improve the triglyceride levels. Some research found that the benefits of exercise can last as long as 48 hrs. Ideally, one should exercise in a consistent manner. But, if one is more sedentary; it is best to exercise 12-16 hours before a big feast like Thanksgiving.
So tomorrow – Wednesday before the holiday- in between baking and making that cranberry sauce take a cardio break of 30 minutes. Your heart and your brain will thank you.
Annandale Women and Family Center – Primary care physician
2839 Duke Street Alexandria, Virginia 22314