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So, the results of your annual health check-up came back and everything seemed to be in order. But if you, like most working individuals in their late 20s, sit for long periods of time, have long office hours, and suffer from lifestyle-oriented ailments - you may still be at risk of high cholesterol.

Please click on the blue link to know better about high cholesterol treatment.

Cholesterol is a wax-like substance found in blood, which is responsible for building healthy cells in the body. But its higher levels can result in the growth of fatty deposits or plaque that prevent adequate blood flow to the arteries, increasing the chances of a heart attack or stroke.

Finding out about high cholesterol in the body may be a setback, but things can be turned around with some basic lifestyle changes. Regular exercise, along with eating healthier and leading a more active life would be some of them.

Weight gain results in producing more ‘bad cholesterol’ or LDL in the body, which results in heart disease. Regular exercise helps in maintaining or even losing weight, which results in the body producing more HDL or ‘good cholesterol’ and lowering the levels of triglycerides.

(Read More - Foods to reduce high cholesterol)

  1. How much exercise is needed to lower cholesterol
  2. Which form of exercise is best to reduce cholesterol
  3. Exercises for high cholesterol
  4. Importance of regular exercise
  5. Takeaways
Doctors for Exercises for high cholesterol

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002 suggested that the more one exercises, the higher the chances of lowering LDL (low-density lipoprotein) in the body. The study also observed that the duration of exercise mattered more in lowering bad cholesterol than the intensity of the exercise. 

Along with regular exercise and eating a well-balanced diet, quitting habits such as smoking work in tandem to regulate and lower the levels of bad cholesterol in the body.

Those who haven’t been exposed to an active lifestyle must begin with smaller goals and increase the intensity or amount of their physical activity gradually.

(Read More - High Lipoprotein treatment)

According to the National Health Portal of India (NHP), adults aged between 18 and 64 years of age must do at least 150 minutes of physical activity at moderate intensity, or half that duration (75 minutes) of intense physical activity in a week.

There always seems to be a debate over whether aerobic exercises or weight training hold more importance over the other; NHP stresses the importance of both. It says that at least two days of weight or strength training activities for major muscle groups and aerobic exercises performed over 10-minute intervals are a must for adults.

To sum it up, a combination of aerobic (walking, running, dance fitness) and strength training exercises (weight training, bodyweight workouts, crossfit) or yoga go a long way in maintaining an ideal body weight, as well as keeping cholesterol levels under control.

All kinds of exercises that promote agility and movement in the body, as well as include the use of strength and force are great for maintaining good health and fitness, as they help burn calories from foods as well as make use of all the nutrients. Here are a few forms of exercising that help in maintaining good cholesterol levels.

(Read More - Homeopathic treatment for high cholesterol)

Running/walking

Combining two of the most natural movements, brisk walking and running, is a great way to maintain basic levels of health and fitness. Regular walking and running help keep the heart in good health by encouraging intense cardiovascular activity and promoting blood circulation to all parts of the body. The other clear benefit of walking or running over many other activities is that it is free of cost, and can be done anywhere. Just pick proper running or walking shoes, wear comfortable clothes, pick a time of day that is convenient for you (and not too hot) and set off.

(Read More - Ayurvedic treatment for High cholesterol)

Cycling

Considered a lower impact activity when compared to running, cycling has several benefits thanks to your knees not being as strained as they would be while running. If you don't like the outdoors, cycling machines are also available at gyms that can also help you avoid being exposed to extreme weather, and allows you to remain in shape by pedalling for as long as you can.

(Read More - Dyslipidemia treatment)

Swimming

If you have access to a swimming pool nearby, this is another great way to keep yourself fit. A study, published in the journal Metabolism in 2010, suggested that swimming had a greater effect on those leading sedentary lives with a better effect on weight loss, body fat or even lowering cholesterol than activities like walking.

(Read More - Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia)

Weight training

A lot of people may be averse to weight training for the fear of bulking up or injuring themselves but training with weights has tremendous benefits for your health. Combining aerobic activity with weight training results in quicker weight loss due to its positive effect on metabolism, as well as giving you enough strength to carry out daily or functional, household tasks. The combination of these activities also leads to improved cardiovascular health, according to multiple studies.

(Read More - Atherosclerosis treatment)

Yoga

Despite being considered a low-intensity form of exercise, yoga has tremendous health benefits with regards to maintaining or improving cardiovascular health. A study published in the Indian Heart Journal in 2013 reported that yoga reduced levels of triglycerides, LDL and cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes, along with increasing the levels of HDL.

(Read More - Cholesterol Test)

While some of us may have had active childhoods, doing all kinds of physical activity like playing sports and following exercise routines, the onset of adulthood and heavy workload takes a toll on a person’s overall quality of life. Some, on the other hand, may have never seen the inside of a gym or a fitness centre and settled into a sedentary life with time. However, it is never too late to begin.

If you are just beginning your fitness journey, it is always better to seek the advice of a doctor and understand your body’s limitations with respect to prior ailments if any. It is also best to start with low-intensity fitness programmes done over short durations to get the body used to the movements.

Ensure that you include a few minutes of warm-up exercises before setting off on a walk or a run or performing any other physical activity to reduce the risk of running injuries or workout injuries. Even more important is to understand your own body’s limitations; those with weak or injured knees shouldn’t be performing exercises that involve running. Instead, they can think about other forms of exercises like cycling or swimming, or work towards strengthening the weak joints of the body.

(Read More - High Triglycerides treatment)

Finding out about one’s own poor health can be distressing, but it is also an opportunity to turn things around for the better. Good health is a result of consistent good habits practised over time, which can be inculcated into your schedule even later in life.

Maintaining a healthy body weight with regular exercise and a balanced diet and avoiding bad habits like smoking or drinking go a long way in maintaining good cholesterol levels in the body.

Stressful lives at home or even at work are major contributing factors towards poor health. Exercising helps with lowering the levels of stress, allowing you to take time off for yourself and is a great way to indulge in physical activities that you may have left behind as you grew up. It is never too late to start your fitness journey.

(Read More - Home remedies for atherosclerosis)

Dr. Akash Mishra

Dr. Akash Mishra

Physiotherapist
3 Years of Experience

Dr. Sudhakar Sharma

Dr. Sudhakar Sharma

Physiotherapist
15 Years of Experience

Dr. lav kumar

Dr. lav kumar

Physiotherapist
8 Years of Experience

Dr. Rupali Chauhan (PT)

Dr. Rupali Chauhan (PT)

Physiotherapist
1 Years of Experience

References

  1. Skoumas J et al. Physical activity, high density lipoprotein cholesterol and other lipids levels, in men and women from the ATTICA study. Lipids in Health and Disease. 2003 Jun; 2(1).
  2. Kraus WE et al. Effects of the Amount and Intensity of Exercise on Plasma Lipoproteins. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2002 Nov. 347:1483-1492.
  3. National Health Portal [Internet] India; Physical activity
  4. Mann S et al. Differential Effects of Aerobic Exercise, Resistance Training and Combined Exercise Modalities on Cholesterol and the Lipid Profile: Review, Synthesis and Recommendations. Sports Medicine. 2014; 44(2): 211–221. PMID: 24174305.
  5. Wang Y and Xu D. Effects of aerobic exercise on lipids and lipoproteins. Lipids Health Dis. 2017; 16: 132. PMID: 28679436.
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