Can Regular Physical Activity Lower My Cholesterol Levels?
Whether a college student or a busy professional, being a responsible adult means closely monitoring your cholesterol levels. Taking regular panel tests helps you maintain good health. It can also allow you to spot and address potential problems immediately, reducing your risk of severe illnesses like heart disease, stroke, and hypertension.
Besides getting tested regularly and eating the right food, one of the best ways to monitor your cholesterol levels is to stay physically active. The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests that 75 minutes of high-intensity or 150 minutes of moderate physical activity can enhance cholesterol levels, boost good cholesterol, and decrease bad cholesterol.
If you want the best results from your incoming panel tests, this article will explain how and why physical activity can help you reduce bad cholesterol.
What Are the Benefits of HDL?
Experts consider high-density lipoprotein (HDL) the "good cholesterol" because it aids in removing low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad cholesterol," from the bloodstream, which minimizes the chances of plaque buildup in your arteries. Elevated HDL cholesterol levels could safeguard an individual from the potentially hazardous effects of LDL cholesterol.
Does Exercise Improve Cholesterol Levels?
Regular physical activity can positively affect cholesterol levels and overall cardiovascular health. Aerobic exercise can strengthen HDL cholesterol's anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties. While low and moderate-intensity exercise can significantly reduce your total cholesterol levels, remember there's inconsistent evidence on how physical activity impacts LDL cholesterol levels.
How Does Regular Exercise Affect Different People?
The impact of exercise on your body depends on your age. Research from 2023 suggests that exercise has more positive effects as you age, with middle-aged and older adults benefiting the most. However, exercise is not a substitute for medical treatment for adults with a high risk of cardiovascular disease or high cholesterol levels.
What's the Ideal Exercise for Lowering Cholesterol?
When lowering cholesterol levels, the type of exercise doesn't matter as much as the intensity and frequency. Individuals can meet the federal exercise guidelines by engaging in 150 minutes or 75 minutes of moderate and vigorous aerobic physical activity weekly, besides trying strength training.
Although aerobic exercises, strength training, and high-intensity interval training may all be beneficial, consult your healthcare professional for personalized advice.
How Often and How Long Should You Exercise for Cholesterol?
Heart experts recommend exercising at least five days weekly to manage cholesterol levels effectively. You should also aim for 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of intense aerobic physical activity weekly, which you can break down into smaller sessions. Moreover, discuss exercise intensity with a healthcare professional if you haven't worked out.
How Quickly Can Physical Activity Help Reduce Cholesterol Levels?
The amount of time it takes for exercise to decrease cholesterol levels can differ for each person. Factors like the type of physical activity, how long and often you do it, and lifestyle habits can affect its effectiveness.
Although there is no set timeline, consistently doing cardio and strength exercises, eating a healthy diet, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, and managing stress can improve cholesterol levels within two to six months.
What Are Some Essential Tips to Remember?
You should consult your physician before following a new exercise routine to lower cholesterol levels. You should also choose activities that suit your health and age to avoid injuries. Moreover, you may need medical supervision if you have a chronic cardiovascular condition.
Heart health experts recommend starting with easy exercises and gradually increasing the intensity and duration. Don't forget to rest to prevent overexertion and allow muscle repair and growth.
Exercising for a Healthier Heart and Body
Regular physical activity is best known as one of the most effective ways to reduce cholesterol levels. You can enjoy the best results by pairing it with a healthy diet, avoiding alcohol and smoking, managing stress, and periodically taking panel tests.
If you're a health-conscious adult needing reliable but cost-effective panel tests in the United States to monitor your cholesterol levels, visit RSC Health! We offer quick and affordable private lab testing, also providing follow-consultations if treatment is necessary. Contact us now!