What goes through your mind when you read the results of your blood tests from your yearly physical? I’ve spoken to many people who were scared to death when they saw that their levels were at or above the “abnormal” or “at risk” levels. In fact, such reactions are the very things that lead clients to see me for an initial consultation. Such was the case when I spoke to Mike C. almost a year ago. Mike was like most middle age men -once very active, but less so now. Not noticeably overweight, but certainly thicker around the middle compared to his “playing weight”. What was alarming was his blood test levels from his recent yearly physical. His blood sugars were high, his LDL cholesterol was elevated, but those weren’t the most concerning findings. What was most concerning was the triglyceride levels of 212 and HDL cholesterol levels of 41. To put this in perspective, the upper recommended limit for triglycerides is 150 mg/dL, and the lowest limit for HDL is 40mg/dL. Although there is some controversy over the significance of LDL cholesterol levels and heart risk, there is clear consensus that high triglycerides and low HDL are independent risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Mike knew this was serious, and something needed to change. We advised Mike to begin an exercise program, focusing on resistance training (using large muscle groups and multijoint movements) and progressing to including intense interval training. Of course, a thorough movement screen proceeded this, and resulted in prescribing some corrective exercises. He also performed a dynamic warm-ups to prepare for his workouts, improve proprioception, and serve as a daily self-assessment. His routine was formulated in our clinic, progressed as his technique improved and designed to be brief and carried out in his basement. This would allow him to keep up with his sessions beyond training with us at Spectrum and fit his hectic lifestyle. Some significant dietary modifications were needed as well. After reviewing a 7 day food log, it was clear that Mike was eating not nearly enough fat, too little protein, not enough vegetables, and far too much pasta and grains. He had adhered to the low fat, high grains mantra, but this clearly was not working. His chronically low (12 years!) HDL levels persisted, and triglycerides climbed. He expected to hear that he needed more veggies, but was surprised (and a bit reluctant) to eat more fat which included – whole eggs! (gasp!). We also recommended that he supplement with Krill Oil (a source of omega 3s with better absorption rates and stability than fish oil). The results? Mike lost 18 pounds (he was not significantly overweight), his HDL increased to 50 (the highest it has been measured in 12 years), and his triglycerides were lowered to 72! Great work Mike! Proof that sticking to a sound, customized plan can have dramatic effects on your health! Click here if you’d like to find out more about getting results like Mike. For more information about Krill Oil, go here.