How Exercise Helps Lower Cholesterol
By Chef K.T. Murphy
Physical activity has been clinically proven, according to WebMD, to have a positive impact on high cholesterol, fighting against stroke and heart disease.
How Does It Work?
When you exercise, in conjunction with leading a healthy lifestyle and eating a healthy diet, it reduces the levels of cholesterol that are circulating in your blood. This limits heart disease, and reduces the risk of the other serious complications that have long been associated with high cholesterol.
It has been shown that regular exercise has been shown to reduce the levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol, while increasing levels of HDL, known as good cholesterol. If you have high cholesterol, speak to your doctor about what level of exercise you should be indulging in. It should be safe to exercise for around half an hour on a daily basis, at least 3 to 5 times every week.
According to the Mayo Clinic, you should aim to exercise the majority of the week. Moderate physical activity is enough to raise your levels of good cholesterol. If you haven’t been exercising, and you’re looking to get started- start with just 10 minutes at a time – three times a day.
This is a great way to get started. Moderate exercises include swimming, enjoying your favorite sport, a brisk walk, and riding a bike. Whichever activity you choose, make sure it is something that you will stick with and something that you can enjoy.
A better motivator is to find a friend to exercise with, or join some type of group in order to keep yourself motivated. Any activity will be helpful, so even if you start by skipping the elevator and taking the stairs is a great way to start. You can even jog in place while watching television.
How Much Exercise Is Enough Exercise?
When you exercise enough to burn an additional 1,500 calories (a week) then your exercise is at a level which will start to lower your cholesterol levels significantly. To put that into context, that works out to around three or four hours of exercise every week.
This means that 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day is sufficient. In fact, by spending just 3 or 4 months following this exercise routine you can expect your cholesterol levels to reduce by as much as 20%. And, bonus points because that this amount of exercise is already recommended for safely losing weight.
Create A Plan
Finding time to exercise when you already have a busy schedule, is difficult. It’s a challenge, but there are some simple ways to work exercise into your routine, and you will be surprised how simple it is to work exercise into your routine. You can achieve it by following these steps:
- Before you start any exercise program, speak to your doctor about it. You want to make sure that it’s right for you.
- Make time in your schedule to exercise. You schedule dentist appointments, trips to the salon, and manage everything else – so do the same with your exercise routine.
- Guess what? Your daily chores totally count as exercise. So, if you happen to be washing the car, vacuuming, or mowing the lawn… it all counts! Plan to do it all in one day and there’s your exercise for the day done!
- If you can choose to walk, or cycle, rather than drive, then do it. When you head to the store, park as far away from the store as possible.
- Find a plan that provides a mix of different activities throughout the week. You won’t get bored with the routine, and it offers plenty of variety.
- If there’s a choice between an escalator, elevator, or the stairs- always take the stairs. This is excellent for the lower abdominal muscles, as well as legs.
- When you’re just starting, don’t expect to manage five days a week. Start slowly and work yourself up. If you burn yourself out, you’ll give up completely.
All the best, Good Food makes For Better Decisions.