Positive People Enjoy Healthy Cholesterol Levels

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on May 23, 2013

Mind-Body-Spirit News

People in midlife who look on the “sunny side” are likely to have healthy cholesterol levels, according to findings by Harvard University researchers.

“Optimism is associated with a healthier lipid profile,” said lead study author Julia Boehm, PhD, research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. “[But] we don’t know whether optimism causes healthier lipid levels or whether people with healthier lipid levels are generally more healthy and optimistic. This research provides one more piece of evidence suggesting that our psychological and physical health are intertwined, and that viewing the world optimistically may have some tangible benefits for living healthier lives.”

Researchers wanted to test the association between optimism and lipid levels because optimism has been linked to behaviors that promote well-being—such as eating a balanced diet and exercising. Investigators collected data, including fasting blood samples and self-reports of levels of optimism, from 990 male and female participants in the Midlife in the United States study. Data analysis showed that a more positive outlook was associated with greater high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and lower triglyceride levels—both indicators of overall heart health. “We found in our research that health behaviors could partially explain optimism’s link with healthier lipids,” said Boehm.

Study findings were reported in The American Journal of Cardiology (2013; doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.20 13.01.292).

IDEA Fitness Journal , Volume 10, Issue 6

© 2013 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA’s mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author base...


Trending Articles

A Breakdown of Popular Diets

The following chart offers a quick reference to some of the most popular diets. Use it to help you guide clients toward the best eating pla...

Full-Body “Farmhand Fitness”

Several years ago, at the IDEA World Fitness Convention™ session, presenter Michol Dalcourt remarked that young athletes from rural ar...

Making Money With Online Training

Reclining in a beach chair under swaying palm trees and sipping a tropical drink, you turn on your computer and begin your day of work as a ...

Third Party Labels on Food

Some government agencies use front-of-package pictorial seals or logos. These include the "USDA Organic" seal and the "USDA Process Verified...

Spring Ahead Burpee/Run Combination

Learn from the best! ReebokONE Expert Contributor Nate Helming demonstrates the importance of incorporating burpees in your running routine...

Which Side of Your Brain Is Running the Show?

We all like to assume that we’re rational, logical beings who make well-considered decisions based on a careful review of all the available evidence. But authors Chip and Dan Heath liken the rig...

Expert Advice on Opening Your Own Studio

Many fitness professionals dream of designing a studio that reflects their unique perspective and approach to health and fitness—a pla...

Health Benefits of Mediterranean Diet

Crous-Bou, M., et al. 2014. Mediterranean diet and telomere length in Nurses’ Health Study: Population based cohort study. British Med...

Answering the Age-Old Question “So, What Do You Think About This Diet?"

Since there is no one “best” diet, and since adherence to a new eating and exercise plan is the most important predictor of whet...

Exercise: The Miracle Cure-All?

Miracle Cure-All? We know there are many benefits to regular exercise. After sifting through study after study, professors at the Academy o...