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  • Tim Reed

How exercise can help lower cholesterol levels - video!

Updated: Apr 17




Why exercise is good for cholesterol

Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your cholesterol levels. It helps to raise your HDL (good) cholesterol and lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol. This is important because high LDL cholesterol can lead to plaque buildup in your arteries, which can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.

There are many different types of exercise that are good for your cholesterol. Some good options include:


  • Aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, running, swimming, and biking.

  • Strength training, such as lifting weights or using resistance bands.

  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT), which involves alternating short bursts of intense activity with periods of rest or low-intensity activity.


You should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. If you're new to exercise, start slowly and gradually increase the amount of time you spend exercising each week.

Above is a video that shows some exercises that are good for cholesterol :)



 

Move Your Way to Lower Cholesterol: How Exercise Can Benefit Your Heart Health

High cholesterol is a silent but significant risk factor for heart disease. While a healthy diet is crucial, the power of exercise should not be underestimated. Let's dive into how different types of physical activity can help you manage cholesterol levels and boost your overall cardiovascular health.


Cholesterol Exercise



A man running
Exercise is key to good cholesterol levels.


Before we delve into exercises, here's a quick cholesterol primer:


  • The Good (HDL): High-density lipoprotein picks up excess cholesterol in the bloodstream and delivers it to your liver for disposal. Think of it as your body's cleanup crew.

  • The Bad (LDL): Low-density lipoprotein carries cholesterol to your arteries, where it can build up, contributing to heart disease risk.

  • The Goal: Focus on boosting your HDL levels while keeping your LDL levels in check!

How Exercise Helps

  • HDL Boost: Regular exercise stimulates the production of enzymes that help shuttle LDL cholesterol to your liver. Increased HDL levels mean better clearance of the "bad" cholesterol.

  • LDL Reduction: Certain types of exercise, particularly aerobic activities, can contribute to modest reductions in LDL cholesterol.

  • Triglyceride Control: Exercise helps the body use triglycerides, a type of fat, as energy, lowering their levels in the bloodstream. High triglycerides often accompany elevated cholesterol.

  • Beyond Just Cholesterol: Exercise offers numerous heart-healthy benefits, including weight loss, blood pressure control, and improved blood sugar regulation.


The Power of Cardio: Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise, which gets your heart pumping and breathing faster, has a significant impact on cholesterol levels. Aim for:

  • Frequency: At least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week.

  • Duration: Break it down into shorter sessions throughout the week (e.g., 30 minutes a day, most days).

  • Options:

  • Brisk walking

  • Running/Jogging

  • Swimming

  • Biking

  • Dancing


Strength Training: Building Muscle for Benefits

While aerobic exercise is the star player, resistance training offers supporting benefits:

  • Lean Muscle Mass: Building muscle can increase your metabolic rate, helping you burn more calories even at rest. This helps with weight management, which indirectly supports healthy cholesterol levels.

  • Improved Insulin Sensitivity: Resistance training helps your body use insulin more effectively, which is important for managing blood sugar levels and related cholesterol risks.

  • Options:

  • Bodyweight exercises (push-ups, squats, lunges)

  • Lifting weights

  • Using resistance bands


Additional Considerations

  • Mixing It Up: Combining different types of exercise provides comprehensive benefits.

  • Consistency is Key: Regular exercise over time yields the best results.

  • Listen to Your Body: Start slowly and gradually increase intensity and duration, especially if you're new to exercise.


Important Notes:

  • Talk to Your Doctor: Before starting any new exercise program, consult with your doctor, especially if you have underlying health conditions.

  • Diet Still Matters: Exercise works best when combined with a cholesterol-friendly diet low in saturated and trans fats.

  • Individual Results Vary: The extent to which exercise lowers cholesterol can be influenced by factors like genetics, medication use, and overall lifestyle habits.


The Takeaway

Exercise is a potent weapon in your fight for healthy cholesterol levels and a healthy heart. Embrace physical activity, find activities you enjoy, and make a commitment to making movement a regular part of your life. Your heart will thank you!

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