Exercise and Cholesterol Levels
Is There A Connection
The topic of exercise and cholesterol has caught the attention of researchers, doctors, and those who suffer with high cholesterol. How much exercise is enough and does it really have any effect on cholesterol levels?
If so, what types of exercise and for how long of a duration should it be performed for best results? These are just some of the questions that have been coming up in recent studies.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a natural compound the body produces itself or derives from food. Good cholesterol, HDL, is responsible for many functions of the body including nerve impulses and vitamin absorption. The bad kind, LDL, is responsible for atherosclerosis. This is a costly and often fatal disease.
There is no known medical cure for it. Some individuals consider medication as a cure, but in reality it is just a temporary fix that is required for the rest of your life.
However, there are some natural things that you can do right now to improve your HDL levels and reduce your LDL levels of cholesterol.
Exercise And Cholesterol:
What Do Studies Suggest?
According to the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP), nearly 38% of Americans have dangerously high cholesterol levels. However, by adding some foods that lower cholesterol to your diet, using a structured diet for lowering cholesterol, and rigorous physical activity, cholesterol levels can be drastically lowered.
Cholesterol can be effectively reduced with the right kind and proper amount of exercise, according to the study conducted by the NCEP. However, the methods are labor intensive. The weekly amount of exercise that needs to be engaged in is roughly the same amount for significant weight loss.
This means that, yes, those who want to lower their overall cholesterol levels and increase their good cholesterol levels (HDL) need to accumulate a high weekly volume of exercise.It is important to note that exercise does not burn off cholesterol like it does fat cells.
A sufficient amount of exercise does, however, increase the metabolic enzymes that are responsible for stimulating the muscles and the liver to convert bad cholesterol to good cholesterol which can be utilized better. This thereby reduces the fatty triglycerides that are responsible for clogging up artery walls.
The first choice for most people with high cholesterol is to simply make a few dietary changes. These are often supplemented with drug therapy. However, when exercise is included in therapy treatments, rarely are drugs needed.
Whether in combination with these other two forms or alone as a treatment, exercise produces fantastic results in lowering bad cholesterol and shrinking the waistline.
Exercise and Cholesterol: What kind, How Much, and How Often?
Aerobic exercise that brings the heart rate up to its maximum that lasts 30 minutes or more per session, and is performed 4 to 6 times per week has the greatest positive effects on cholesterol levels. What does this mean?
Aerobic exercise might include:
Swimming. (Laps, water aerobics, or other vigorous water activities.)
Brisk walking. (Not a simple stroll, it included cross-country walking, often with the use of poles, using long strides and at the level where conversations are hard to maintain.
Jogging. (Lace up those sneakers and grab a bottle of water.)
Running. (Can be alternated with other forms of exercise in this list.)
Cycling. (This includes stationary bikes, recumbent bikes, or bicycles.)
Aerobic classes (High intensity workouts that keep your heart rate up and your body moving.)
Stair stepper or rowing machines. (See your local gym to try out different models.)
Sports activities. (Basketball, soccer, badminton, tennis, or other high intensity sports that can be performed several times per week.)
This list is by no means exhaustive. Any exercise that brings up the intensity factor to a range of 4 to 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 for three to four hours per week, spread out over several days, significantly reduces high cholesterol levels.
Significant weight loss from the abdomen can also help reduce levels. Any combination of exercises used in combination, alternated weekly or monthly, and that increase fat loss can help reduce cholesterol.
Lower amounts of exercise are also beneficial. So dont rule them out. Also, it is important to work your activity level up by starting small and building gradually.
Studies by the NCEP suggest that even a small amount of exercise along with dietary changes can have a good effect on cholesterol levels. Simply increase your exercise and cholesterol levels should drop.
Exercise is highly recommended. However cholesterol supplements can reduce cholesterol even faster. Cholest-Natural is a product that contains many ingredients that have been proven to lower cholesterol in scientific studies.