Exercise can help lower cholesterol, but the right kind of activity must be chosen – starting slowly and increasing intensity gradually will maximize benefits.

Studies show that regular walking or running can substantially lower cholesterol, but for optimal results combine cardio exercises such as running or walking with strength training such as pushups or lunges for best results.

Cardiovascular Exercise

As part of your cholesterol reduction efforts, increasing cardiovascular exercise — also known as aerobic activity — is one of the best strategies. Cardiovascular workouts increase oxygen and blood flow to the heart, lungs and circulatory system and can help burn calories while improving mood and sleep quality.

Studies have demonstrated that aerobic exercises can significantly decrease cholesterol levels among individuals living an inactive or overweight lifestyle, including LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

As well as aerobic exercise, other forms of physical activity can help lower cholesterol. Shaw et al [24] reported that engaging in both aerobic and resistance training for 16 weeks resulted in significant decreases in total and LDL cholesterol as well as increases in HDL.

Weight Loss

High cholesterol levels are frequently related to being overweight and can be managed through regular exercise and diet changes; adding in more fruits, vegetables and fatty fish while cutting back on meat consumption and refined carbs will help bring down LDL levels and decrease LDL counts.

Aerobic exercises like jogging, biking, swimming and dancing can help reduce cholesterol by burning fat to boost HDL levels – although its results won’t appear overnight due to weight loss or diet changes.

Recent studies demonstrated the efficacy of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) as an exercise form for lowering total and LDL cholesterol as well as triglycerides. This type of workout includes switching between high intensity exercises and periods of low intensity activity – such as using weight machines in the gym, free weights or body resistance exercises like pushups and lunges – and lower intensity activities, like increasing reps and decreasing rest intervals. Increasing reps or shortening rest intervals may also prove effective.

Strength Training

Exercise can have a remarkable impact on cholesterol levels. Lower triglycerides and increased HDL cholesterol have been linked with better cardiovascular health and reduced risks of heart disease.

Aerobic or “cardiovascular” exercises — including jogging, walking, swimming, cycling and dancing — increase fat metabolism to decrease LDL cholesterol. Moderate intensity workouts appear more effective than higher-intensity ones.

Resistance training or weight lifting, known as resistance exercise, helps build muscles and improve body composition. A 2019 study discovered that individuals engaging in moderate-intensity resistance exercises (any activity which forces muscles against an opposing force) had 40-70% lower risks for high cholesterol than those who didn’t lift weights; though research is mixed as to whether strength-training alone can effectively decrease cholesterol; instead lifestyle changes like eating heart-healthy foods or losing weight may be needed in combination.

Flexibility Exercises

As you add cardiovascular and strength training routines to your exercise program, don’t overlook flexibility exercises. A flexible body is better able to withstand life’s stresses such as long car rides or plane flights; additionally, flexibility exercises help prevent injuries when working out or playing sports.

According to the Mayo Clinic, it’s vitally important to incorporate stretching into your daily or at least twice weekly schedule. Start by warming up with light walking or resistance exercise before stretching your muscles further with stretching exercises. If combining flexibility exercises with endurance or strength workouts, add flexibility stretches after your workout is finished.

For optimal cholesterol-reducing results, combine aerobic and strength training exercise with a nutritious diet. To do so, include moderate intensity cardio activities like jogging, swimming and biking with muscle building activities such as push-ups and lunges. Also consider high intensity interval training (HIIT), which combines bursts of strenuous activity with short recovery periods to create short bursts of strenuous physical exertion followed by short recoveries periods.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *