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How Does Exercise Improve Cholesterol

Organized Sports And Other Activities

2 Best Exercises For Lowering Cholesterol – by Dr Sam Robbins

Other sports and activities can also be beneficial for lowering cholesterol and improving general health.

The main factors to consider are how much energy the body uses up doing the sport or activity and how often a person engages in it.

The following sports and activities can help:

state that adults should undertake a certain amount of exercise each week to stay healthy. However, they point out that 1 in 4 adults around the world do not meet the global recommended levels of physical activity.

The WHO recommend that adults aim for one of the following:

  • at least 150300 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity per week
  • at least 75150 minutes of more vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity each week
  • an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous physical activity throughout the week

Tracking the heart rate during exercise can help a person reach their fitness or weight loss goals. Heart rate is a good indicator of how much effort a person is putting in when exercising.

The AHA recommend that people reach 5085% of their maximum heart rate when exercising.

They explain that a person can calculate their maximum heart rate by subtracting their age from 220 to give them a value in beats per minute .

For example, a 30-year-old would subtract 30 from 220, giving them a maximum heart rate of about 190 bpm.

Scientists measure cholesterol in milligrams per deciliter .

How Can I Lower My Cholesterol By Making Lifestyle Changes

You can lower your cholesterol levels by making lifestyle changes, and through taking medicines if that’s what your doctor advises. Some people will only need to improve their lifestyle and diet to get their cholesterol to a safe level. Others may need to take cholesterol-lowering medicines, as well.

Aerobic Exercise And Tg

It is widely reported that exercise can induce lower plasma TG concentrations . However, many studies have shown that sedentary individuals have no change in TG levels after a single exercise session . The reasons for the discrepancies were unclear. It seemed that where there was an exercise with a high energy requirement, there would be more frequent that TG concentrations decreases occur. Actually, TG changes in sedentary subjects did occur regardless of whether the energy consumption is low or moderate . Therefore, the energy consumption may not be the main reason for this distinction. If this is the case, is it the state of the patient before exercise is the key factor? To our disappointment, the TG did not change significantly in non-active subjects with aerobic exercise. But the results of other studies have been very gratifying. The researchers found that when participants had lower baseline levels of TG, there was only a slight decrease in TG after exercise. While, when TG baseline levels were high, there was a significant reduction. Thus, the TG baseline level may be the key factor influencing the effect of exercise on the TG response.

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How Exercise Can Lower Bad Cholesterol

Research shows that exercising at least three times a week lowers cholesterol and prevents heart disease.

Adam Kaz/iStock

If your cholesterol numbers arent where they ought to be, working out should be a key part of your get-healthy strategy.

The right kinds of workouts, done regularly, can raise heart-protecting HDL cholesterol levels and drop dangerous triglyceride levels, says Robert H. Eckel, MD, emeritus professor of medicine in the cardiology division at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora. By losing fat and building muscle, your numbers can really improve.

A review of studies on the relationship between cholesterol levels and exercise, published in July 2017 in the journal BMC Lipids in Health and Disease, found a strong correlation between healthy cholesterol levels and exercise, partly due to weight loss. One reviewed article, from the National Lipid Association Expert Panel on Familial Hypercholesterolemia, found that for each kilogram a person loses, their LDL cholesterol level goes down by about 0.8 milligrams per deciliter.

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What Is Hdl Cholesterol

How Exercise Can Lower Bad Cholesterol

The high-density lipoproteins transport excess cholesterol from the walls of arteries to the liver. Because cholesterol deposits are a major feature of atherosclerosis, removing cholesterol from the arteries is thought to be an important component to the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

In the liver, the excess cholesterol from HDL particles is metabolized much of it is converted to bile, which is then excreted by the body or used for digestion. This cholesterol recycling processthe reverse cholesterol transport processhelps to prevent or reverse heart disease.

A high level of HDL cholesterol, therefore, often means that a lot of excess cholesterol is being recycled, which is a good thing. Therefore, it is desirable to have a higher HDL cholesterol level.

HDL levels above 60 mg/dl are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.

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Does Exercise Help To Lower Cholesterol

Health & Wellness

Certain workouts can help you reduce the bad kind of cholesterol while simultaneously boosting the healthy kind.

There are many different ways you can actively protect your heart so that you lead a long, healthy life lowering your cholesterol levels is a great place to start.In general, making certain dietary changes is one of the most effective ways you can reduce your overall cholesterol levels. Limiting the amount of saturated fat you consume is key, but becoming more physically active can also help.

Here, we explain several ways exercise can help you lower your cholesterol levels. But first, let’s unpack what cholesterol is and how it can positively and negatively impact your health.

What Is Cholesterol?

  • HDL cholesterol, also called high-density lipoprotein, helps to remove excess cholesterol from the body. It is often referred to as good cholesterol.
  • LDL cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein, can lead to a build-up of plaque in your arteries. It is often referred to as bad cholesterol.
  • VLDL cholesterol, or very low-density lipoprotein, carries triglycerides and can also contribute to plaque in the arteries. VLDL is also considered to be bad cholesterol.

Exercise and Cholesterol

3 Workout Routines to Lower Cholesterol

A word from Nike: Check with your health care provider before starting a new exercise routine, especially if you take medications that affect your heart rate or if you have a medical condition.




The Best Exercises To Lower Cholesterol

Brisk walks or jogging

Theres no need to hit the treadmill at full speed. In fact, if youre not used to running, are overweight or have issues with your joints, it could do more harm to your body than good.

Start with an easy walk around the block, then a longer walk, then a slow jog. Not only will you be lowering your cholesterol, but youll be lowering your blood pressure, too.


You didnt have to think about cholesterol levels as a kid, and maybe thats because you were staying active by riding your bike around town with friends and family. Get back in touch with your inner child and hop back on a bike to lower cholesterol.

Cycling/biking can burn just as many calories as jogging, but its easier on your knees. All you have to do is find an appropriately-sized and comfortable bike and ride off into the healthy cholesterol level sunset.


If walking, running and biking are proving to be too much on your body, swimming can solve your cholesterol problems just as effectively.

When you take a few laps in the pool, youre working your entire body, and youre doing so in a way that can feel therapeutic. Swimming is great for overall heart health and part of that is lowering your cholesterol.


The best news for someone who isnt so keen on cardio is that yoga, too, is good. However, to get cardiovascular benefits, you need to increase your heart rate. Yoga is also great for:

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Best Exercises For Lowering Cholesterol

Some research has indicated that it may be that how much you exercise is more important than what kind of exercise you do. That means its worth it to incorporate more activity into your day however you can. Take a walk during your lunch hour, choose the stairs, stand up to take phone calls, or store a jump rope at your desk.

In addition, try to incorporate at least 30 minutes of structured exercise into each day. Any exercise is better than none, but the following six types have shown in studies to be effective at reducing cholesterol levels.

High Cholesterol And Heart Health

Does Exercise Lower Cholesterol? – by Dr Sam Robbins

Cholesterol is a fatty material that is made by the liver. It plays an essential role in our bodies as it is needed to build healthy cells. Cholesterol circulates in the blood to reach all of these cells, but if the levels get too high then it can cause serious problems.

The cholesterol in your blood is carried around by proteins. When the fatty cholesterol is combined with a protein it is known as a lipoprotein. They can be categorised into two types based on the types of proteins that are carrying the cholesterol and where they are going:

  • High-density lipoproteins or HDL is the good form of cholesterol because it is moving out of your blood. HDL takes cholesterol to the cells that need it or back to your liver so it can be broken down if you have more than your body needs.
  • Non-high-density lipoproteins of non-HDL is the bad form of cholesterol because it can settle inside your arteries and cause blockages when there is too much of it in your body.

High levels of bad cholesterol in your blood can be very damaging for your heart health. It can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks. The cholesterol can form fatty deposits inside your arteries. If too much of this material builds up then it can affect the blood supply to your brain or heart muscle. If these active tissues arent getting enough blood then it can result in a stroke or heart attack.

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Aerobic Exercise And Hdl

Many studies have focused on the relationship between aerobic exercise and HDL-C, and have found that HDL-C levels are more sensitive to aerobic exercise than both LDL-C and TG. Furthermore, all studies focusing on the effects of exercise on HDL-C seemed to consistently indicate that there was an increase in HDL-C more or less, no matter in human or in rats . However, people usually improve their lifestyles as they do aerobic exercise, which can lead to interference with the results. To avoid this problem, Kodama et al. performed a meta-analysis of 25 randomized controlled trials. People only exercised, that is, without medications or dietary therapy. Still, they found HDL-C increased by 2.53 mg/dL when aerobic exercise was 5.3 MET .

Table 1 Several studies about effects of aerobic exercise on HDL-C, LDL-C and TG in human

The main function of HDL-C is to participant the RCT process. Králová Lesná et al. found that exercise could increase cholesterol efflux by 1.8% after 9 weeks training. Besides RCT, HDL-C possesses other functions such as clear lipid peroxide transport. Välimäki IA et al. and Tiainen et al. found that exercise could increase oxidized HDL and oxHDL/HDL and decrease oxLDL at the same time. So, exercise can affect the HDL-C function including RCT process and lipid peroxide transport clearing. And the function of anti-inflammation or anti-oxidation needs further research.

What Is The Best Exercise To Reduce Cholesterol

  • Brisk walks or jogging. There’s no need to hit the treadmill at full speed. …
  • Cycling. You didn’t have to think about cholesterol levels as a kid, and maybe that’s because you were staying active by riding your bike around town with friends and family. …

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Increase Your Physical Activity

Physical activity increases levels of HDL cholesterol the good cholesterol that removes LDL cholesterol from the blood. Vigorous aerobic exercise is best.

If you havent been exercising much lately, gradually build up to the recommended amount of physical activity:

  • People aged 18-64 years should do 30 to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week.
  • People aged 65 years and over should aim for a total of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days .

Moderate-intensity exercise is a level that increases your heart rate and breathing but allows you to keep talking. Vigorous intensity exercise makes your heart rate higher and makes you breathe more heavily.

Resistance training and muscle-toning exercises can increase HDL cholesterol. Aim to do this twice a week.

Make A Playlist Or Download An Audio Book

6 Effective Exercises for High Cholesterol

Music is a great motivator, so load up a walking or weightlifting playlist of your favorite tunes to play while youre on the move. Audiobooks and podcasts are also great to listen to while you exerciseyou may find yourself exercising more frequently or for longer periods of time just so you can hear what happens next.

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How Quickly Can Cholesterol Change

Cholesterol drops over time, not suddenly, after a few days of healthier living. There is no set period in which cholesterol is guaranteed to drop. Cholesterol-lowering drugs usually produce a change in LDL within 6 to 8 weeks. It is possible for lifestyle changes to change cholesterol levels within weeks.

How Does Exercise Improve Cholesterol Levels

Exercise works to eliminate the dangerous, fatty LDL cholesterol by increasing HDL cholesterol. Losing weight also increases HDL.

According to the American Heart Association, high cholesterol is caused by two lifestyle elements that happen to go hand-in-hand: lack of exercise and being overweight .

So, by natural deduction, its easy to see why exercise would be the no-brainer solution to improving cholesterol levels.

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How Exercising Can Help Lower Cholesterol Levels

If you’ve been diagnosed with borderline or high cholesterol, you probably already know the importance of losing weight and eating a healthy diet. But there’s another part of the lifestyle prescription that’s just as important: exercise.

“When it comes to cholesterol, there are three things your doctor is looking at: your LDL , HDL and your triglycerides ,” explains Suzanne Steinbaum, DO, a cardiologist in New York City and spokesperson for the American Heart Association .

“Exercise seems to have the most impact on your cholesterol by raising your HDL levels and lowering your triglycerides.”

“We now think that exercise’s main effects are to elevate HDL cholesterol, which is important because this type of cholesterol acts as a sort of ‘clean up’ crew to remove LDL from your blood vessel walls and send it over to your liver, which gets rid of it.”

Strike A Few Yoga Poses

How weight loss, exercise and diet can lower your cholesterol

After all this talk about aerobic exercise and lifting weights, it may seem odd that yoga would show up on the list. After all, yoga is mostly stretching, right?

Studies show, however, that yoga may reduce risk of heart disease. In some cases, it may directly affect cholesterol levels.

Researchers reported in the Indian Heart Journal that a three-month yoga program helped reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. It also improved HDL cholesterol levels in diabetics. The participants practiced for about one hour a day.

In a large study review published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, those who regularly practiced yoga showed significant improvement in LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and blood pressure over those who didnt exercise.

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What Kinds Of Strength Training Should You Do To Lower Cholesterol

Resistance training comes in several forms, but the two most common are weightlifting and floor exercises. Whichever you choose, youll do a certain number of repetitions, or repsusually 10 to 12 of themthen rest for one to two minutes before doing another set of 10 to 12 reps.

How to lift weights

If you belong to a gym, you can use free weights or weight machines. If you dont have a gym membership, you can purchase hand weights to use at home. Heres how to get started lifting weights:

Choose the right weight to start with

Find the weight that you can lift 10 to 12 times in a row so that the first half of the set is fairly easy, but the second half is more difficult. The last two reps in the set should be very difficult to liftyoull feel your muscles burning, and may feel inclined to vocalize your discomfort with a little groaning, and thats okay!

Rest between sets

For each weightlifting exercise, complete three sets of 10 to 12 reps. Between each set, rest for one to two minutes.

Recover between sessions

Allow 48 hours between sets to let your muscles recover. If you do your upper body one day, and your lower body the next day, you can do your upper body again the following day.

How to do floor exercises

Floor exercises use your own body weight as resistance. These include sit-ups, push-ups, planks, lunges, and squats.

Yoga as resistance training

Dont Forget Strength Training

The AHA recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity a week. But resistance training is also really important when it comes to improving cholesterol levels.

Men who weight-train several times a week have were observed to have higher HDLs than those who don’t, even if they’re overweight, according to an October 2013 study published in the âJournal of Applied Physiologyâ. The guys who had higher HDLs also had lower triglycerides than those who didn’t pump iron.

“This seems to show that your weight matters less when it comes to your cholesterol than staying physically active, including doing resistance training,” says Ragavendra Baliga, MBBS, professor of internal medicine at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

The AHA recommends strength training twice a week. If you can get a third session in, do it: The âSports Medicineâ review found that lifting weights three times a week for 40 to 50 minutes showed the best results when it came to improvements in cholesterol and triglyceride levels .

You’ll likely start seeing results anywhere between six to twelve weeks, Dr. Steinbaum says. Women between the ages of 30 and 60 who did two weekly one-hour weight-training sessions for three months showed a reduction in total cholesterol, triglycerides and a boost to HDL cholesterol compared to a control group, according to a February 2015 study published in âRevista médica de Chileâ.

Which Exercise Is Best to Reduce Cholesterol?

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