8 Best Exercises for Lowering Cholesterol

8 Best Exercises for Lowering Cholesterol

Regular exercise is one of the best ways to improve your cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. It helps lower “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and raise “good” cholesterol (HDL).

There are many exercise programs. When it comes to lowering cholesterol, no single exercise works alone. Reducing cholesterol levels requires a combination of diet, exercise, lifestyle changes and medications, if necessary.

How often should you exercise to lower cholesterol?

The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each day for good heart health. With a balanced diet and daily physical activity of approximately 30 minutes 6 days a week, it can take anywhere from 8 weeks to a year to see results, depending on your current weight.

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If you have high cholesterol, you should talk to your doctor about the exercise program and diet he recommends. Below we list some types of exercises that can help lower cholesterol.

And what are optimal cholesterol levels?

  • Total cholesterol – About 200 mg/dL
  • LDL (“bad”) cholesterol – About 100 mg/dL
  • HDL (“good”) cholesterol – At least 40 mg/dL in men and 50 mg/dL in women
  • Triglycerides – Less than 150 mg/dL

8 Best Exercises for Lowering Cholesterol

  1. Walk, jog or run

Running, jogging, and jogging are great exercises to lower cholesterol and triglycerides. Try spending at least 150 minutes per week walking, jogging, or running at a moderate intensity to see results.3

Which one you choose will depend on your endurance and joint health, but they are all useful.

A 2013 study comparing tens of thousands of runners and walkers found that the amount of exercise matters more than the type. Whether walking or running, people who expended similar energy levels during physical activity experienced similar benefits. For instance, walking 4.3 miles at a fast pace expended the same energy as running three miles.

  • Push-ups

Push-ups are a great exercise for many gym goers. This is a quick exercise that involves the movement of vital muscles of the body. It certainly also improves your overall cardiac capabilities, which is crucial for controlling lower cholesterol. It is also an excellent exercise for burning fat, which also helps control it.

Regular push-ups can definitely help a person discourage high levels. This can prove to be a vital exercise, especially for young people. Regular pumps can prevent serious health problems by controlling them.

  • Aerobic exercises

Cardio exercises aim to increase your heart rate and respiratory rate for prolonged periods of time, which is extremely important for lung and heart health. Types of aerobic activities you might do include: running, walking (brisk), cycling, sports, swimming, dancing, rowing, skiing, skipping rope, climbing stairs and hiking.

  • Interval training:

This type of exercise involves alternating cycles of high-intensity exercise such as sprinting, with periods of low-intensity exercise such as walking. This could include activities such as high interval sprints, circuit training, spinning classes, martial arts, and surfing.

  • Ride a bike

Cycling uses about the same energy as jogging, but is less harmful to your joints. If you experience joint pain, it may be better to choose cycling over running. You can hike local trails or try a stationary exercise bike to lower your cholesterol levels.

  • Swimming and water exercises

Water exercises like swimming, water walking, and engaging in water games can yield similar benefits for your cholesterol profile as other aerobic exercises. Additionally, they are gentle on your joints, making them a suitable option for individuals with joint issues.

  • Bodybuilding

Lifting weights or performing other resistance exercises, such as using resistance bands or even body weight, is helpful on its own and especially as part of an exercise program that also includes aerobic exercises.

  • Yoga

Although yoga is generally a low-intensity exercise, studies have shown that it can reduce the risk of heart disease and have a positive effect on cholesterol levels. A large 2014 study found that those who practiced yoga regularly had significant improvements in LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and blood pressure compared to those who didn’t exercise.

How to lower cholesterol through diet

The US FDA has developed a guide for adults and children called “MyPlate” that replaces the outdated “food pyramid.” With the MyPlate approach, there are five food groups in fixed proportions: fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains and dairy.

The plate is divided into sections:

  • Vegetables: 40% of the plate
  • Protein: 20% of the dish
  • Cereals: 30% of the dish
  • Fruits: 10% of the plate
  • Dairy: a small cup of yogurt or a glass of skim milk

Dividing the plate in this way allows you to better understand the types and quantities of foods to include in each meal to make it balanced. This diet can also help people with high cholesterol eat a healthy diet without excess fat.

Reduce cholesterol with intermittent fasting

Any form of fasting helps you lose weight and, therefore, can help you lower your cholesterol levels. There are three methods of intermittent fasting:

  • Fast every other day
  • Periodic fasting
  • Time-limited daily diet

However, the most effective method is one that can be easily maintained according to your daily routine. A common trait is to stick to an 8-hour eating window, for example:

  • Starts at 10:00 a.m.
  • Ends at 6 p.m.

This way you eat within the 8-hour window, from 10 am to 6 pm. and fast the rest of the time.