Increase in heart diseases in recent years and ever-growing inclination toward an inactive lifestyle has given cholesterol a bad name.
But is this imposition correct? Well… the answer is both Yes and No. Our body requires certain amount of cholesterol to function normally. However, presence of more than required cholesterol in the body spells Trouble, with capital T. Common factors that lead to high cholesterol levels include:
- Consumption of red meat, fatty foods, and eggs in huge quantity
- Lack of physical activity
Excess of cholesterol is bad; more so for heart. High blood cholesterol levels increases the risk of heart-related diseases. This happens because bad cholesterol, known as Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) congests our arteries, hindering the smooth flow of blood within the body. Exercise is a natural way through which we can prevent such a situation from developing.
Regular exercise reduces the risk of developing heart-related diseases by:
- Reducing the level of triglycerides in the blood.
- Increasing the level of good cholesterol, known as High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) in the blood.
Are you wondering how does exercising affect the bad cholesterol levels (LDL), the prime target of conventional high cholesterol treatments? The effect of exercise on LDL is indirect. Regular exercise helps in body weight reduction and substantial decrease in body weight which, in turn, can lead to drop in LDL levels.
What kind of exercise regime you follow is not really important; the stress should be given to the duration of the physical activity and its frequency. You can take up any form of physical activity, one that suits and interest you most, such as jogging, walking, or weight training. Even everyday activities, such as gardening or cycling are also beneficial.
The key is not to go over the top while exercising but setting a pace with which you are comfortable. Overstressing oneself while exercising is counterproductive, as you are likely to end up with joint pain or muscle tear.
Most fitness experts are of the view that three essential components of any exercise regime are: duration, frequency, and intensity. But when you exercise regularly for substantial time continuously, say 40-45 minutes the intensity of the regime becomes inconsequential.
For instance, 15 minutes of intensive weight training is equivalent to 50 minutes of brisk walk.
Although the entire process is yet to be fully understood, it has been established beyond doubt that regular exercise, effective diet management, and weight loss collectively help in the reversal of cholesterol transportation from the blood back to the liver and out of body.
Combination of regular exercise and correct diet plan can help you immensely in tackling the issue of high cholesterol. If you are interested to know more on this issue or want to find out which exercises are best for you then refer our Cholesterol Guide for information.
by Scott Davis