Heart Healthy Exercise Lowers Cholesterol

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: Heart Health, Cholesterol
Last Reviewed 02/24/2014

Heart Healthy Exercise Lowers Cholesterol

Heart healthy exercise does a body good in so many ways, even playing a major role in keeping your cholesterol levels within the optimal range. That’s because physical activity gets your blood flowing and keeps your arteries and veins elastic and healthy. And as your metabolism rises during exercise, your liver creates more of the healthy HDL cholesterol and clears away more LDL cholesterol—particularly the small-pattern LDL cholesterol that puts you at a higher risk for heart disease. Heart healthy exercise also helps you lose weight, and excess weight often mean excess cholesterol.

Types of Exercise to Lower Cholesterol

The good news is that you don’t have to exercise intensely for hours in order to reap the cholesterol-lowering benefits of exercise. In fact, walking and dancing are my two favorite forms of heart healthy exercise, and you only need about 30 minutes per day of either activity to help lower high cholesterol. Learn more about why I recommend walking and dancing for everyone and get advice on how to get started.

In addition, adopting a simple weight-training program can also benefit those with cardiovascular health concerns. Studies indicate that strength training can lower blood pressure, decrease cholesterol and increase cardiovascular endurance. Get tips on how to begin a weight-training program.

Of course, movement of any kind lowers high cholesterol levels. So if you can’t take a walk every day, or you don’t like dancing or weight training, try any of these activities.

Treating High Cholesterol With Exercise

  • Ride a stationary bike.

  • Do exercises that will help maintain muscle tone, flexibility and balance, such as yoga, T’ai Chi or qigong.

  • Lift books over your head.

  • Take up painting with a brush.

The main thing to remember is that no matter what type of heart healthy exercise you decide to do, once you create an exercise routine that is suitable for you, be sure to stick to it. That’s because it’s not what exercises you do but how often you do them that will keep your body—and cholesterol levels—healthy.

More Dr. Sinatra Advice on Lower High Cholesterol

Want to achieve optimal cholesterol levels with your diet? Learn about the dietary changes that are necessary for healthy cholesterol levels.

Want to achieve optimal cholesterol levels with nutritional supplements? Discover which nutrients you need to add to your supplementation program to promote healthy cholesterol levels.

Want to achieve optimal cholesterol levels with stress-reduction techniques? Read about how lowering your stress levels can help you achieve healthy cholesterol levels

Related Articles & Categories
Enjoy What You've Just Read?

Get it delivered to your inbox! Signup for E-News and you'll get great content like you've just read along with other great tips and guides from Dr. Sinatra!