For David Pahl, diet and exercise were, at least potentially, a matter of life and death. The then 33-year-old visited his doctor two years ago and found "my cholesterol was sky high, the highest I've ever seen."
His family history was also a concern. His doctor recommended medication, but David asked for six months to work on diet and exercise instead. "The deck is stacked against me," notes David. "I obviously had the motivation, because I was starting to feel symptoms that long-term could lead to heart disease."
With his doctor's support, David began an exercise program of running, weight training and cardio cross training. He also found a book with a scientifically-based diet and exercise plan that appealed to the engineer, who works for the South East Engineering Center in Charlotte, N.C.
After just six months on his new plan, David's cholesterol decreased by 30 percent. In another six months, he had cut his cholesterol by 40 percent. Two years later, David is 25 pounds lighter, feels better and has his cholesterol under control for now. Regular exercise also helps him better handle the stress of his job as an engineering lab manager.
But it's a continuous struggle to stay healthy. "There are days I dread going out to run, but [success] is about being consistent over a long period of time. As my brother says, ´Life in general is a marathon, not a sprint.´"