Exercising To Lower Your Cholesterol

If you have high cholesterol levels, you have probably heard the phrase "low saturated-fat diet" more often than you care to hear. However, adopting such a diet is not the only lifestyle change you will need to make to lower your cholesterol. Exercise is necessary when you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol levels.

Exercise helps lower cholesterol levels in a number of ways. Physical activity increases the HDL levels in your system, while decreasing LDL levels. Exercise also helps the circulation in your body, which can help the flow of blood through your system and reduce clogged arteries. Studies have shown that a low saturated-fat diet with a moderate amount of exercise is key to significantly lowering cholesterol levels. Furthermore, regular physical activity has been proven to increase a particular enzyme in your system that helps remove cholesterol from your bloodstream.

Only a moderate amount of physical activity is necessary, though you may choose to follow a more strenuous routine. Moderate physical activity means about 30 minutes per day of some aerobic activity, such as jogging, walking briskly, or swimming. These aerobic activities are great for increasing your heart rate and helping improve your blood circulation. If this seems like a large task, you can break this minimum 30 minutes of exercise into smaller amounts. Take 10 minutes at lunch to do a brisk walk around the office. After work, take another 10 to vacuum your house (just make sure that this will increase your heart rate.) And then maybe take 10 minutes at night for jumping jacks while you catch the evening news.

Again, you can follow a more strenuous routine, with some weight training. This will help you lose more weight than aerobic exercise alone. Building muscle mass through weight training continues to exercise those muscles, and thus burn calories, even after you have stopped. Most often, when losing weight, fat is burned off first. In this way, losing weight can help reduce cholesterol significantly by eliminating those fats that help clog the arteries and increase LDL levels. You do not have to start lifting 20 pound weights, though. You can buy small 1, 2, or 3 pound wrist bands that can wrap around your wrist or ankle; then go for a walk. This will help increase your heart rate and give your arms and legs a little more to work against.

Lowering cholesterol takes a number of lifestyle changes, but they do not have to be abrupt changes. If you have not participated in any physical activity, then you should be careful to jump into a strenuous exercise routine. Start off slowly and recognize when your heart is beating fast. A combined low saturated-fat diet with moderate physical activity will not only help lower cholesterol but it will help you become healthier overall.

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