and Improving Health
Exercise plays a vital role in improving overall health, and this includes reducing cholesterol levels. Regular, moderate physical activity can help to lower bad cholesterol levels and raise good cholesterol levels. This helps to maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of developing serious health diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
How Exercise Helps Lower Cholesterol
When you exercise, your body uses energy. This often results in a decrease of LDL cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol. Lowering cholesterol can help to reduce the risk of arterial plaque buildup—a major cause of coronary heart disease. Exercise can also help to raise levels of HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol, and increase blood flow, helping to reduce the risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.
Recommended Exercise Guidelines
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends doing at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, such as walking, biking, or swimming, every week. For additional health benefits, you should aim for 300 minutes of exercise or more per week. Strength-training exercises are also important for health and cholesterol levels. Aim for two or more workouts per week that include strength-training exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups, and squats.
Types of Exercise
There are many different types of exercise you can do to help reduce your cholesterol and improve your overall health. Aerobic activities include swimming, running, and biking, while strength-training exercises can include lifting weights, at-home bodyweight exercises, and yoga. You can also look for low-impact exercises such as walking, water aerobics, and tai chi.
Benefits of Exercise
In addition to helping lower cholesterol, exercise offers a variety of other health benefits. Exercise can help strengthen bones, improve mood, reduce stress, reduce the risk of injury and disease, improve sleep, and increase energy levels. It’s important to find an exercise routine that you enjoy and that you can stick with for the long-term.
Exercise is an essential part of maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and overall good health. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and two strength-training workouts per week for optimal benefit. Finding an exercise routine that you enjoy can help to ensure you’re more likely to stick with it.