Exercise And Cholesterol

Exercise and Cholesterol Reduction

There are compelling links between exercise and cholesterol.  Along with diet, exercise and a generally active, healthy lifestyle can help you to reduce not only the bad effects of cholesterol but cholesterol levels themselves.  Here’s what we know at this point.

Exercise and Cholesterol Levels

Recent studies have shown that being active, whether this just happens because of the nature of your job (e.g., if you are a postal career) or because you take part in an active exercise regime, lead to not only reduced levels of the harmful LDL cholesterol, but also increased levels of the beneficial HDL cholesterol.

Exercise also helps to reduce the harmful effects of cholesterol on the cardiovascular system by maximizing the circulation of blood and thus helping to clear away the dangerous blood clots that are the source of so many cardio vascular problems.

Finally, exercise and cholesterol reduction also meet at the nexus of weight loss.  Exercise helps to mitigate the negative affects of cholesterol because exercise helps to keep weight down.  The connection between the negative health effects of cholesterol and obesity are long standing, so anything that helps you reduce the number of fat deposits in the body will help you to keep cholesterol levels down.  (The reason for this connection is obvious to anyone who knows that fat stores cholesterol.)

Best Exercises for Cholesterol Reduction

You don’t have to become an Olympic sprinter or train like you are getting ready for NFL try-outs.  A half-hour of moderately involved exercise is the medical community’s recommendation for the kind of physical activity that can really make a difference in terms of cholesterol.  Of course, pushing yourself more will have added benefits as well, but if all you can afford to devote in terms of time and money is a thirty-minute quick walk around your neighborhood after you get home from work, then that should be enough.

Of course, the best exercises are those that you need to jump in the shower after you complete.  Jogging is one that is highly recommended because it not only increases the rate of your circulation—one of the keys to pushing out clots in the arteries—but also, it gets your lungs going as well, so that you keep them in shape and healthy.

Swimming has similar effects to running, but people in warmer climates tend to prefer it since it puts less heat stress on the body.  If you live in a particularly hot, desert like environment or one where you get lots of smog on hot summer days, it might be physically safer to swim rather than risk a run under such conditions.

Cycling is yet another favorite because you can have built in breaks where you coast.  Furthermore, it is easier to build cycling into your day if you are in college or live near where you work.  Cycling into work provides not only a benefit to your heart health but allows you to save money on gas and keep the environment healthy as well.


Other ways of getting the kind of aerobic exercise that reduces your cholesterol level, is by taking dance classes, doing yoga or walking the dog.  In addition, weight lifting and muscle building in general also tend to help when trying to get cholesterol under control.  This is because strength training helps to burn fat, which will not only make you look good in your bathing suit but will also burn the deposits where cholesterol lives.

The key however, to improving your health is to get out there and get started today.  Putting things off until a more convenient time is the most common reason that people use to let their cholesterol rise to unacceptable levels.