When diagnosed with high cholesterol, patients are often told to increase or introduce exercise into their daily lives. But how does movement help lower cholesterol?
First, it’s essential to understand the two main types of cholesterol in your body:
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as ‘good’ cholesterol.
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as ‘bad’ cholesterol.
When there are low levels of good cholesterol and high levels of bad cholesterol in your body, you are at an increased risk of suffering from a heart attack or stroke. Therefore, it is crucial to make necessary lifestyle changes to lower bad cholesterol levels. One of these measures includes exercising daily.
How Does Exercise Lower Cholesterol?
High levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) can occur due to a sedentary lifestyle and obesity. Physical activity affects the levels of high-density lipoprotein and causes an increase in it, which aids in the elimination of bad cholesterol. Moreover, exercise causes weight reduction, leading to increased levels of good cholesterol.
How Often Should I Work Out?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has the following recommendations for adults that want to lower their cholesterol levels and live a healthier life.
- Aerobic physical activity of moderate intensity for 150 to 300 minutes a week.
- Aerobic physical activity of vigorous intensity for 75 to 150 minutes per week.
- Combining both moderate and vigorous exercise and sticking with this exercise all week.
Try to make and follow an exercise plan according to one of the above recommendations.
What Are the Types of Exercises for Lowering Bad Cholesterol?
If you’re wondering how to translate this into day-to-day activity, the following are some well-known exercises for lowering bad cholesterol.
A brisk walk or a light jog can be an effective light exercise for lowering cholesterol levels, particularly for people who have trouble running due to joint issues or obesity.
Running is as beneficial as walking in keeping the heart of your health intact.
Cycling is another effective way of reducing bad cholesterol levels in the body. It can be an alternative option for people who have knee problems and cannot jog or run.
Doing a few laps in the pool can keep your heart healthy. Swimming is an excellent option for those who have joint pain while running or walking.
Yoga is a great option for anyone who wants to add mindfulness to their workouts.
Tips for Getting Started
Here are some general tips that can help you with your exercise plan.
- Do not overdo it when starting with an exercise plan. Start slowly by doing a 15-minute exercise daily, and then gradually increase the exercise time to 30 to 45 minutes each day.
- Keep your body hydrated by drinking water throughout the exercise, especially in humid or warm weather.
- Keep yourself comfortable by wearing clothes and shoes appropriate for exercising.
- Keep your motivation up by exercising with your friends and family.
Always consult your doctor before you start with any exercise. Moreover, if you feel dizzy or develop pain in your chest during the workout, stop the activity immediately.