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Lowering Your Blood Cholesterol

Can Exercise Lower Your Blood Cholesterol?

Last modified: 
19/04/2012 - 10:41

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Being physically active can help lower your cholesterol level, whether it involves everyday activities like cleaning or gardening or a structured exercise program. Exercise helps lower cholesterol levels several ways:

  • Exercise increases the amount of HDL cholesterol (the good kind of cholesterol) in your blood, while reducing the amount of LDL cholesterol (the bad, artery-clogging kind of cholesterol).
  • Exercise promotes weight loss and weight control.
  • When you exercise, you tone up your whole body's circulation, helping to clear away clots in the blood vessels and making the heart a stronger, more efficient pump.

What Are The Best Types Of Exercise?

You don't have to run marathons to benefit from exercise - even modest increases in your level of physical activity can help lower your cholesterol levels.

Need To Know:

Experts recommend that all adults accumulate at least 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days of the week. If you can't devote a full 30 minutes all at once, several shorter periods of physical activity throughout the day can add up to 30-minute recommendation.

Vigorous activities like walking, jogging, biking, and swimming are called aerobic activities, and they are especially good at conditioning the heart and improving circulation. If you choose one of these activities, be sure to start slowly and build up gradually to avoid strain and injury.

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Lowering Your Blood Cholesterol

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From Andrew Maynard - Chair of the University of Michigan Department of Environmental Health Sciences, with help from David Faulkner - 2013 Master of Public Health graduate.