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Will Exercise Lower My Cholesterol? — an article on the Smart Living Network
February 11, 2010 at 9:54 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Will Exercise Lower My Cholesterol?


High cholesterol is a problem for millions of Americans. High cholesterol can lead to a stroke, or a heart attack. If you have high cholesterol, it is important that you make the right changes in your lifestyle to help lower your cholesterol. Developing an exercise plan is one of the first things that you can do.

Does exercise really help?

Most studies suggest that regular exercise can significantly lower your cholesterol levels. One study, from the New England Journal of Medicine, says that "exercise has a positive effect on the number and size of the particles that carry cholesterol through the bloodstream". In people who exercise often, there are less particles, and they are smaller. This is important because the larger particles are more likely to stick to artery walls, causing a blockage.

What Kind of Exercise is Good?

There is still debate on what types of exercises are best for lowering cholesterol. Most tests that have been done, to determine which exercises are better, revolve around aerobic activity, such as; running, biking, swimming, and using cardio machines. Aerobic exercise causes the heart to beat faster, forcing more blood through your body, allowing less cholesterol to stick to the artery walls. If anything, aerobic exercise will help you lose weight, and burn fat, and get you in better shape. This will lessen the stress on your body, and lower the chance of a heart attack or stroke. Starting an exercise program can be very difficult for many people. Elderly, obese, and handicapped people may find it almost impossible to do aerobic activity. If you find it difficult to do aerobic activities, then start with walking. Walking is one of the easiest ways to start exercising. A simple 30 minute walk, 3-4 times a week, can do a lot of good for your body. Many doctors agree that walking reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, which is caused by high cholesterol.

Other Ways to Lower my Cholesterol

To go along with an exercise plan, you need a healthy diet. A healthy diet is one that is high in fruits, whole grains and vegetables, and contains little amounts of saturated fats, and cholesterol. It can be difficult to quit eating many of the foods you love, but you do not have to give up everything at once. You can start by making small steps, such as; buying leaner meats, using low fat dairy products, eating more fruits and vegetables, eating less fried foods, and eating smaller portions of food. It may be difficult, but is often necessary if you want to lower your cholesterol. If a healthy exercise and a good diet are not enough, or do not seem to be working, then other option s are available. There are a variety of prescription drugs available to lower your cholesterol, but are usually used as a last resort because of the severe side effects.

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