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The Exercise-Cholesterol Link


Of course, we recommend starting and finishing one plan at a time, so you can reap all the health and fitness benefits. But recent studies have more carefully examined the effect of exercise alone, making it easier to evaluate the relationship between exercise and cholesterol. Choose a form of exercise you can do for minutes at a time, with at least moderate intensity, such as walking, biking, swimming , jogging, or using an exercise machine at low speed. We do our best to add new content every month! The combination of protein particles and cholesterol are called "lipoproteins;" it's the LDLs that have been linked to heart disease.

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Some of those particles are small and dense; some are big and fluffy. Exactly how much exercise is needed to lower cholesterol has been a matter of some debate. In general, most public health organizations recommend, at a minimum, 30 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous exercise , such as walking, jogging , biking, or gardening.

But a study by researchers at Duke University Medical Center found that more intense exercise is actually better than moderate exercise for lowering cholesterol.

In a study of overweight , sedentary people who did not change their diet, the researchers found that those who got moderate exercise the equivalent of 12 miles of walking or jogging per week did lower their LDL level somewhat. But the people who did more vigorous exercise the equivalent of 20 miles of jogging a week lowered it even more.

The people who exercised vigorously also raised their levels of high-density lipoprotein HDL -- the "good" kind of lipoprotein that actually helps clear cholesterol from the blood. According to Kraus's findings, however, even though moderate exercise was not as effective in reducing LDL or increasing HDL, it did keep cholesterol levels from rising. Just how much of an effect exercise has on cholesterol is also a matter of debate.

If you haven't been exercising regularly already, it's important to start slowly. Be sure to check in with your doctor, so that he or she can evaluate your current cardiovascular health. This could mean blood tests or a treadmill test to see how your heart reacts when you exercise. Of course, exercise alone won't guarantee a low cholesterol level.

Genetics, weight, age, gender, and diet all contribute to an individual's cholesterol profile. But recent studies have more carefully examined the effect of exercise alone, making it easier to evaluate the relationship between exercise and cholesterol. Researchers now believe there are several mechanisms involved. First, exercise stimulates enzymes that help move LDL from the blood and blood-vessel walls to the liver.

From there, the cholesterol is converted into bile for digestion or excreted. So the more you exercise, the more LDL your body expels. Second, exercise increases the size of the protein particles that carry cholesterol through the blood.

The combination of protein particles and cholesterol are called "lipoproteins;" it's the LDLs that have been linked to heart disease. Some of those particles are small and dense; some are big and fluffy.

Exactly how much exercise is needed to lower cholesterol has been a matter of some debate. In general, most public health organizations recommend, at a minimum, 30 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous exercise , such as walking, jogging , biking, or gardening. But a study by researchers at Duke University Medical Center found that more intense exercise is actually better than moderate exercise for lowering cholesterol.

In a study of overweight , sedentary people who did not change their diet, the researchers found that those who got moderate exercise the equivalent of 12 miles of walking or jogging per week did lower their LDL level somewhat.

But the people who did more vigorous exercise the equivalent of 20 miles of jogging a week lowered it even more. The people who exercised vigorously also raised their levels of high-density lipoprotein HDL -- the "good" kind of lipoprotein that actually helps clear cholesterol from the blood. So, the more info we get from you, the better your All Access experience will be!

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