Exercise refers to planned or structured physical activity includes aerobic and resistance training.
Regular exercise can produce some amazing result both in better management of cholesterol as well as your overall wellbeing.
Exercise to Lower Cholesterol
One best way to control high cholesterol is exercise; it has been proven to increase HDL and reduce triglycerides. Another effective way to ensure a healthy cholesterol level is choosing diet smartly.
Exercise to lower cholesterol does not mean to run a marathon. In fact, the key to success is starting simple and gradually increase the effort. Perform some warm up, stretch before start exercising and make it cool down after finishing the exercise. If you are new to exercise; start slowly with five to ten minutes per day, add a little more time each week, aiming for at least two to three hours per week.
Important: If you are having heart disease or high blood pressure, or man over 40 or woman over 50 who is planning to be active, should be more careful and vigilant before starting and during their physical exercise program.
How does exercise lower lipid profile?
Exercise makes your heart beat faster and breathes harder, thus burns more calories. Lungs expand more and energize the whole body.
The precise mechanisms of lipid lowering effect of exercise is unclear, but below is the list of suggested pathways:
- During exercise, skeletal muscles start utilizing lipids instead of glycogen that decreases plasma lipid levels.
- Exercise stimulate the production and actions of certain enzymes that help move cholesterol from blood to the liver (reverse cholesterol transport). Then cholesterol is converted into bile for fat digestion or excreted out.
- Exercise will lower the levels of an enzyme (cholesteryl ester transfer protein) that decrease HDL level in the plasma. That is why exercise proportionally increases HDL cholesterol level.
What kind of exercise might help lower cholesterol?
Exercise has positive impacts on the pathogenesis, symptomatology and physical fitness of individuals with dyslipidemia, and to reduce cholesterol levels.
Numerous studies prove the effectiveness of both aerobic exercise and resistance training in controlling/improving cholesterol levels and your cardiovascular health. Aerobic and resistance training combination might produce even better improvement in cholesterol levels.
How much exercise do you need to lower cholesterol level?
Start exercising in intervals of 10 to 15 minutes and increase slowly to 30 minutes over time. Exercise intensity should be low or moderate level as your endurance increases.
About 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity exercise 3 to 4 times a week is recommended to improve cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and reduce heart attack or stroke risk. At least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise per week is recommendable for overall cardiovascular health.
Ok, how do you know you are doing exercise that is moderate or vigorous intensity. One best way to determine the exercise intensity is talk test. During moderate-intensity exercise, you can able to hold a conversation. However, during vigorous-intensity exercise, you need to stop the conversation for breath after few words.
Aerobic exercise for cholesterol control
Aerobic exercise involves cardiorespiratory endurance exercises such as jogging, running, and cycling.
Clinical studies on aerobic exercises, show these exercises appear to benefit cholesterol the most, by lowering LDL by 5 to 10% and raising HDL cholesterol by 3 to 6%.
Water sports such as swimming, water walking, and other water games, can also have similar results in your cholesterol profile.
Here is a list of aerobic exercises that you can try; brisk walking, climbing stairs, swimming or taking a water aerobics class, and dancing. Also riding bicycle (outdoors or indoors), taking an aerobics class, playing (basketball, volleyball, tennis or other sports), in-line skating, ice skating or skateboarding, and cross-country skiing.
Resistance training to control cholesterol
Resistance training exercises are strength-developing exercises utilizing external resistance or own body weight.
Men with high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol showed a significant increase in HDL cholesterol levels (4.9%), reductions in plasma triglycerides (−15.0%), and significantly reduced apolipoprotein B levels (−6.0%). Reference: Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 2001; 21:1226-1232.
Some of the resistance training exercises are Barbell, Dumbbell, Chest Press Machine, parallel bars, Push-Ups, Squat, Leg Press, Lunge, Deadlift, Leg extension, Wall Sit, Leg curl, Snatch, etc.
Doing exercises with weights, spring or elastic bands, or weight machines three times a week builds the muscles and bones. When you have more muscles and less fat, then these muscles burn more calories even between exercise sessions.
14 Amazing Benefits of Exercise
- .Improves lipid profile - Exercise increases HDL cholesterol, lower triglycerides, lower LDL cholesterol, and improves lipoprotein particle sizes. Studies have shown exercise can increase your LDL particles size that help reduces your cardiovascular risk. In a study, a 12-week endurance exercise reduced small, dense LDL by up to 17%
- Weight loss - During exercise the body burns stored fat, result in reduced total body fat that leads to weight loss.
- Sharpen Mind - Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on your brain; improves memory and useful for ADHD.
- Boost Immunity - Numerous studies shown individuals do regular exercising has less prone to mild viral infections such as colds or flu.
- Proper Glucose Metabolism - Exercise reduces insulin resistance and lower diabetes risk. If you already have diabetes, then exercise help regulates it better.
- Lower Chronic Diseases – Exercise can lower your risk towards heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and certain types of cancer.
- Stroger Bones - Exercise strengthen your entire skeletomuscular system, thus reduces the risk of osteoporosis, increase your strength and the sense of well-being.
- Increases Longevity - Exercise reduces various diseases and improve your overall health, which in turn increases your longevity.
- Goodbye to Fatigue - Immediately after exercise, you may feel tired, but in the long run it would increase your energy level and no more fatigue.
- Lower Heart Rate - The heart pumps more blood per beat means reduced heart rate.
- Efficient Cardio Function - Exercise improves your lung capacity, maximize oxygen utilization, and provides enhanced cardiac function.
- No Pain - Exercise releases endorphins, body's natural painkiller.
- Psychological Wellbeing - Exercise help produce serotonin in your body, this can have a positive impact on stress, depression, and anxiety. Additionally, it will improve your mood.
- Restful Sleep - Exercise make your body in need rest, improves mood, removes pain, and thus help you sleep better.