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Understanding Statins: A UK Pilates Teacher's Guide

Medication assortment highlighting statins
Various statins and supplements for cholesterol management

As Pilates teachers, we often encounter clients from various walks of life, each with their unique health backgrounds. One prevalent topic in recent times, particularly among older demographics, concerns the use of statins. Statins are commonly prescribed to manage cholesterol levels, a factor closely watched by those concerned about cardiovascular health. The discussion around whether to take statins can be complex, as it touches on aspects of individual health metrics and broader guidelines. This guide aims to shed light on the subject from a Pilates teacher's perspective, enabling us to support our clients effectively.

The Role of Cholesterol and Statins

Cholesterol, often vilified, plays a pivotal role in our body, contributing to cell membrane structure and hormone production. It's the balance among different types of cholesterol that is critical. High levels of LDL ("bad" cholesterol) are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, while HDL ("good" cholesterol) is protective.

Statins are drugs prescribed to lower the levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood. They are recommended for individuals at high risk of cardiovascular events, including those with elevated LDL levels or existing heart disease. However, the decision to start statin therapy should be based on a comprehensive assessment, including risk factors such as age, blood pressure, and family history of heart disease.

Understanding the Numbers

When discussing cholesterol with a healthcare provider, it's essential to look beyond the total cholesterol number. If an individual's LDL is high but their triglycerides are low, this might not be as concerning if the person is metabolically healthy. Moreover, not all LDL particles are equal; larger LDL particles are less associated with heart disease risk than smaller, denser particles.

Interestingly, statins primarily reduce the larger LDL particles, which might not significantly impact heart disease risk for everyone. Additionally, the effectiveness and recommendations for statin use can differ between genders and individual health profiles.

Alternatives and Supplements

For some, lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, can effectively manage cholesterol levels. Various natural supplements are also cited for their potential in supporting cardiovascular health. However, it's crucial to approach such alternatives with caution and seek advice from a healthcare professional before making any changes, especially for those already on statin therapy.

For Pilates Teachers: Supporting Clients on Statins

As Pilates teachers, it's not within our remit to offer medical advice, but we can play a supportive role for our clients. Here's how:

  • Encourage open dialogue: Encourage clients to discuss their health concerns and medications, including statins, with their healthcare providers.

  • Promote a holistic approach: Support clients in adopting a balanced lifestyle that includes regular Pilates practice, a heart-healthy diet, and stress management techniques.

  • Be mindful of side effects: Some individuals on statins may experience muscle aches or weakness, which could affect their Pilates practice. Adapt exercises as necessary and focus on gentle, strengthening routines.

  • Stay informed: Keep abreast of the latest health and wellness research to provide informed support to your clients, within the scope of your professional practice.


Statins are a key piece in the puzzle of managing cardiovascular health for many. As Pilates teachers, while we don't prescribe medications or offer medical advice, understanding the basics about statins and cholesterol can help us support our clients more effectively. By fostering a holistic approach to wellness that includes physical activity, diet, and stress management, we contribute positively to our clients' overall health journeys.

Remember, every individual's health situation is unique. Encouraging clients to have open conversations with their healthcare providers about statins and cholesterol management is paramount. Our role is to support our clients in their wellness journeys, providing them with the benefits of Pilates and a holistic approach to health.


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