Treating metabolic syndrome requires addressing several risk factors together. My Life Check provides a scoring tool and checklist with seven key heart-healthy targets for improving the quality and length of your life. The simple seven will improve your overall cardiovascular health and greatly improve the individual risk factors that make up metabolic syndrome. Here's what you can do starting today:
- Eat better. Adopt a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats and fish, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products and avoid processed food, which often contains partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, and is high in salt and added sugar.
- Get active. Incorporate at least 150 minutes of moderately vigorous physical activity into your weekly routine. Walking is the easiest place to start, but you may want to experiment to find something else you like to do that gets your heart rate up. If needed, break your exercise up into several short, 10-minute sessions throughout the day to reach your goal.
- Lose weight. Reduce your risk for heart disease by successfully losing weight and keeping it off. Learn your recommended calorie intake, the amount of food calories you're consuming, and the energy calories you''re burning off with different levels of physical activity. Balance healthy eating with a healthy level of exercise to reach your goals.
- Take medications, if prescribed. When changes in lifestyle alone do not control the risk factors related to metabolic syndrome, your health practitioner may prescribe medications to control blood pressure, cholesterol, and other symptoms. Careful following your practitioner's instructions can help prevent many of the long term effects of metabolic syndrome. Every step counts and your hard work and attention to these areas will make a difference in your health!
Clinical trials are scientific studies that determine if a possible new medical advance can help people and whether it has harmful side effects. Find answers to common questions about clinical trials in our Guide to Understanding Clinical Trials.
This content was last reviewed on 07/11/2011.