Exercise is key for getting your fat and cholesterol levels under control. The American Heart Association now considers lack of exercise a risk factor for heart disease, joining smoking, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol.
You can’t count on a low-fat diet to lower cholesterol by itself. A significant study of 377 patients showed that low-fat diets do not work unless you get off the couch and exercise as well. In the study, a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet brought down the levels of bad cholesterol to some degree, but the only significant difference occurred in the group that combined diet and vigorous exercise.
By the same token, exercise can’t do much about your cholesterol levels unless it’s complemented with a low-fat diet. Although regular exercise raises levels of the good HDL cholesterol that helps to prevent heart attacks, a study fromGeorgetownUniversityshows that HDL doesn’t increase very much.
If you’ve been living a sedentary lifestyle, the prospect of exercise may fill you with dread, but it’s simply a matter of rethinking your lifestyle and choosing health over illness.
You don’t have to join a gym, start training for a triathlon, or cycle 50 miles per day. Set realistic goals. You can opt for a vigorous exercise program that you can do for 30 minutes at least three times per week, or a low to moderately intense exercise program that you can do on most days of the week. One note: Sedentary individuals at risk for high cholesterol should see a doctor before beginning any exercise program.
The two keys to success are aerobic activity and consistency. You’ll know when you’ve reached the aerobic state. Your heart beats faster and you begin to breathe harder. It’s important to understand that to be effective, the exercise must stress the cardiovascular system and must be performed regularly.
If you like to do your exercise all at once at certain times during the week, set aside at least three days for 30 minutes of brisk walking, running, swimming, cycling, or other endurance exercise. Weight training and other nonendurance activities do not seem to increase HDL, but pumping iron — or pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups and similar exercises — can help reduce LDL, increase your strength, and decrease body fat.
If you don’t want to do all your exercise at one time during the day, short periods of moderately intense activity, such as stair climbing, walking to work, gardening, mowing a hilly patch of lawn, or walking up hills in five- to 10-minute intervals can quickly add up to a total of 30 minutes throughout the day.
You can also boost your exercise total by making small changes in the way you work around the house or at the office. Get up from a chair using just your leg muscles and not pushing with your arms, or raise and lower a milk jug several times every time you carry it to the breakfast table.
Moderate, regular activity is the key
The intensity of the activity does not seem to be important. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Heart Association, theAmericanCollegeof Sports Medicine, and other health organizations emphasize moderate, regular exercise. Here are some encouraging facts:
People of all ages can benefit from physical activity. Healthy older adults benefit as much as younger people.
The frequency and duration of the activity are more important than the intensity. Moderately intense exercise, such as brisk walking, is enough for health benefits if you do it on most days of the week.
Normal daily activities — carrying out the trash, gardening, cleaning, making the bed — add up.
Exercise not only helps fight cholesterol and heart disease but helps reduce risk of high blood pressure, osteoporosis, breast and colon cancer, depression, anxiety, and stress.
For more information you can visit following link, How to lower cholesterol