This can help you control your cholesterol
Are you one of the nearly 100 million American adults who have high cholesterol?
There’s a pretty good chance you or someone you care about has high cholesterol. That puts them at risk for heart disease.
Do you have high cholesterol you’d like to reduce for your health and your longevity? One effective approach is simple: Exercise.
Taking up a regular fitness activity can have a positive effect on your triglycerides and HDL, known as “good” cholesterol. Triglycerides are a type of fat in your blood that your body uses for energy. Exercise can lower their levels. At higher levels, they can contribute to coronary artery disease.
Exercise doesn’t do much to improve your LDL, known as bad cholesterol. Your best bet for reducing your LDL is a low-cholesterol diet and losing weight.
Before you start an exercise program, check with your health care provider to make sure.
The good news is that a number of different physical activities can help you control your cholesterol. The main thing is to do your chosen activities regularly.
- Aerobics — Try running, walking briskly, hiking or cycling (spinning or regular outdoor bike). How about swimming, dancing, kickboxing or an elliptical or a step machine?
- Free weights or a weight machine. Circuit training is effective.
How much exercise should you get?
- Don’t overdo it to start. Try 15 to 20 minutes at a time to start.
- Work up to about 30 minutes of activity five or six days a week.
During your activity, you should aim for a moderate to somewhat hard effort. You should still be able to carry on a conversation without being too out of breath. If you can still sing, you should increase your effort.
A reminder: Stay hydrated when you exercise. Even when it’s cool during your workout, you still need to drink.
Along with the cholesterol reducing benefits, exercise can help lower your blood pressure. It can help reduce your risk for stroke and heart attack.
Want to learn more about your heart health? Take a free, quick online risk assessment to learn more about your risk for heart disease by clicking here.
About the Author
Robert Panther, MD is a board-certified Cardiologist at Aurora Wilkinson Medical Clinic in Summit, WI.