Cholesterol Treatment

How Can Exercise Help Lower Cholesterol?


Exercise! This is the most common advice you are likely to hear if you are dealing with the problem of high cholesterol. But, how does exercising help lower cholesterol levels? Let us find out.

Regular exercise works in more than just one way to bring down your cholesterol levels. Firstly, it can reduce the level of triglycerides in your body. Put simply, triglycerides are a form of fat that travels through your body. When you exercise for a long time, a hormone called epinephrine is triggered inside the body. This hormone breaks down the triglycerides to meet the energy demands of the body. As a result, your cholesterol levels are lowered.

Secondly, regular exercising also boosts the HDL level. HDL is the good cholesterol in the body. It whisks the cholesterol from the arteries and sends it to the liver. This prevents the buildup of plaque and consequently keeps heart attack at bay.

Apart from increasing your HDL and lowering triglycerides, regular exercising also helps bring down your overall weight. This has a direct impact on your cholesterol levels. Weight loss helps brings down your cholesterol levels including the LDL levels, which is the bad cholesterol.

Watch your timings
While regular exercise can play a pivotal role in lowering cholesterol, the amount of exercise also matters a great deal. Experts recommend exercising for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour everyday to keep cholesterol levels in check.

A recent study that examined 700 subjects revealed that 40 minutes of physical activity each day could lead to a decrease in the risk of heart attack by as much as 5-7%. The same study also revealed that exercising for 120 minutes in a week can also boost the HDL levels. This means that a workout for 40 minutes, thrice a week is enough to boost your HDL levels.

For best results, it is suggested that you exercise for 40 minutes at a stretch. You can extend the duration to even an hour for better results. Studies prove that working out for full 40 minutes is more important than how hard or how often you exercise.

Choosing an exercise
Many people are often confused as to which exercises will be beneficial to lower cholesterol levels. Well, when it is about bringing down cholesterol levels, the idea is to keep your body moving. You can choose any exercise that you enjoy- walking, dancing, jumping, yoga, aerobics and the like. If you get bored of a particular exercise, you can easily move on to another one. As long as the activity makes your heart rate go up, you will be able to reduce your cholesterol levels for sure.