As if we needed additional reasons to get more exercise…Now comes word that exercise and cholesterol benefits are directly related.
That really shouldn't come as a surprise.
After all, we know that staying active is needed for all aspects of good health.
But one of the more exciting aspects about the relationship between exercise and cholesterol is that exercise is one of the few things … along with the proper cholesterol diet foods … that has proven to be effective at raising high-density lipoprotein, or your "good" HDL cholesterol.
And having high levels of HDL cholesterol is every bit as important (maybe more so) as maintaining low levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol.
In fact, having a higher amount of HDL will help reduce LDL naturally as it's the HDL which serves as a "cleaning agent" for the more harmful LDL particles.
How much exercise is needed to benefit cholesterol levels?
How much exercise do you need before you'll start seeing improvements and noticeable results on that next blood test?
That's the tricky part as no one seems to know for sure.
There's no formula or foolproof plan that gets consistent results across the board for both men and women.
As reported by WebMD , a study at the University of Tokyo seems to indicate that longer periods of aerobic exercise is more helpful at increasing HDL levels than shorter, brief periods.
That's not really a surprise. But is there a target that you should aim for?
Is there an ideal exercise or fitness plan for cholesterol?
If you have the time, a good plan would be to focus on aerobic or cardio activities such as:
And resistance training is great for increased metabolism, burning fat, and weight loss.
Resistance training includes using resistance bands as well as traditional weight training, or even simple isometric exercises.
If you did a 30 minute session, 5-7 times a week, of aerobic activities you'd get a ton more health benefits than simply lowering your high cholesterol levels.
But I don't want you to feel like you have to do intense exercise sessions several days a week before you'll see any results.
You don't have to turn this into a strict, regimented program. And no…
You don't have to join a gym to get crazy good benefits.
Any extra physical activity is time well spent.
This can include simple every day things like:
- Working in the yard
- Cleaning the house
- Walking you do while out shopping
- Playing a musical instrument
- Playing with your children in the backyard
Just get your body moving. Get your blood pumping.
Anything that gets your heart rate up and increases circulation can do wonders at cleaning your artery walls and blood vessels, which make it easier for your heart to pump blood through your body.
Remember: Regular amounts of moderate intensity exercise is better than a hit-and-miss approach at trying to do intense endurance training.
It's a sedentary lifestyle that is one of the strongest indicators of increased cardio risk.
Just do something, okay?
So the next time you’re looking over that list of high cholesterol foods to stay away from…
Go for a quick walk instead as you take advantage of what exercise will do for your cholesterol and heart health. That's because exercise and cholesterol really do have a direct relationship.