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High cholesterol: Four of the best exercises shown to help significantly lower your levels

High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

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High cholesterol is a pernicious condition characterised by high levels of lipids circulating in the blood. These molecules are gradually deposited in the arterial walls, leading to the formation of plaque that prevents oxygen-rich blood from reaching the heart and brain. You can significantly lower your cholesterol levels with any of these four exercises.

Aerobic exercise that’s repetitive and works multiple muscle groups, is the best exercise to reduce cholesterol. 

The American Heart Association recommends exercising for at least 30 minutes five to seven times per week.

Studies have reported that, on average, HDL cholesterol increased by 4.6 percent while triglyceride levels fell by 3.7 percent with aerobic exercises.

Other exercises shown to be effective for lowering cholesterol levels include:

  • Jogging 
  • Cycling 
  • Swimming.

Researchers reported on how exercise is effective for lowering cholesterol levels in a study published in Lipids in Health and Disease.

The study found physically active women had significantly higher levels of HDL cholesterol than sedentary women.

Another study published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, found similar results.

The study found men with belly fat who underwent regular endurance exercise increased HDL good cholesterol levels.

A 2002 study from the Duke University Medical Center found that exercise improved the number and size of the particles carrying cholesterol through the body.

Those who exercised more had larger, “fluffier” particles that were less likely to clog arteries.

Researchers reported that overweight and obese adults who walked, jogged, and cycled while eating a cholesterol-lowering diet improved total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.

What is the difference between good and bad cholesterol?

Despite its bad reputation, cholesterol is actually a necessary substance your body needs to function properly.

It’s particularly important for your skin, brain and nerves.

To help people with this distinction, healthcare professionals have begun differentiating between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol.

LDL – which stands for low density lipoprotein – is commonly referred to as bad cholesterol.

If there is too much LDL in your arteries, it will clog them up, which is what we know as high cholesterol, and what cholesterol tests are looking for.

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