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Cholesterol Buster

The confusion about the effect of exercise on cholesterol stems from the fact that most cholesterol-related studies (conducted in earlier times) focused on dietary and exercise changes, making it difficult to figure out which of the two was making a difference. More recent studies have focused solely on the impact that exercising has in terms of lowering cholesterol levels. Researchers now believe that there are actually several mechanisms involved; the most important one being the fact that exercising stimulates enzymes that help to move the lower-density lipoprotein from the blood (and blood vessel walls) directly to the liver. Meaning that the more you exercise, the more LDL your body expels.

Eating foods that contain excessive amounts of fat can increase LDL cholesterol levels in your blood. This is a condition called high cholesterol, also known as hypercholesterolemia. If levels of LDL cholesterol are too high, or levels of HDL cholesterol are too low, fatty deposits build up in your blood vessels. Eventually, these deposits make it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries, and this results in serious issues throughout your body, particularly in your heart and brain. This can be fatal.

How Much Exercise Does it Take to Lower Cholesterol?

The precise amount of exercise that is required to lower cholesterol has been a matter of debate for quite some time now. Most public health organisations recommend a minimum of 30-60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per day. Some of these workout plans include jogging, walking, cycling or gardening. Though moderate exercising is recommended, researchers cite that intense exercising is more effective when it comes to lowering cholesterol. However, in a study conducted with overweight people (particularly those who did not alter their diets), researchers found that those who got to do moderate exercise, such as walking, for about 20 kilometres had managed to lower their LDL level somewhat. The same study goes on to show that those who took part in the vigorous exercises had lowered their levels even more significantly.

How Much Will It Help?

As a result of the aforementioned studies, experts have discovered that those who have the worst diet and exercising habits were the ones who benefited the most. Some of them reduced their low-density lipoprotein by 10%-15% whilst subsequently increasing their high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-also known as “good cholesterol”-by 20%.