Professional medical journals are filled with study after study, savegeeks about the powerful effects even a little exercise may have on clobbering your cholesterol numbers. But when asked why it works, the medical community is stumped.
That’s because researchers aren’t really sure how regular physical exercise lowers lipid numbers. But with every passing day, it appears that a few more clues are revealed.
Of course, the most obvious way it helps lower your,creditcana cholesterol is by helping you lose weight. Overweight individuals tend to have higher LDL levels in their blood.
Today the medical community is convinced that there are probably several different mechanisms at work. For one thing, exercise stimulates the same enzymes that assist in taking the LDL from the blood — along , expresstruewith the blood-vessel walls — to the liver.
Once there, the cholesterol is then converted into bile for digestion or it is excreted. So it only makes good sense: the more you exercise, the more LDL your body eliminates.
But there’s also a second reason why exercise may lower your cholesterol. Physical activity increases the size of the protein particles carrying cholesterol through the blood. While that may not mean a lot to you, timesgym it’s quite revealing to medical experts.
In a nutshell, these protein particles come in two basic sizes. The first is small and dense; the second is big and fluffy. The small, dense particles are the more dangerous of the two.
They can squeeze themselves into areas of your body — line the lining of your heart of blood vessels — and essential “set up shop there,” according to Amit Khera, M.D., Director of the University of Texas, Southwestern, Medical Center’s Program in Preventive Cardiology.
Exercise actually increases the size of the protein particles, oculuscredit that carry both the good and bad cholesterol. The larger the particles, the harder it is for these substances to find places to hide and hang out.
No, you don’t have to quit your day job to get enough exercise to lower your cholesterol. In fact, research shows that even as little as 30 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity can help you. What type of activities should you consider? Think about walking, jogging, biking or even gardening.
A study in 2002 sponsored by Duke University, depotblue Medical Center discovered that the more intense the exercise, the better its cholesterol-busting ability.
Another study involved overweight, sedentary people. These individuals were told not to change their diet. Those who received moderate exercise — which for the purposes of this study were 12 miles of walking or jogging a week — lowered their LDL levels.
Those who exercised even more vigorously — roughly 20 miles of jogging a week — lowered their levels even more.
It’s true! The good news doesn’t end there. Those who exercised vigorously also raised their levels of HDL — the good cholesterol. But, you have to work harder to get this to happen, according to William Kraus, M.D., an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Duke University. “Just walking is not enough.”
But don’t let this fool you. Any type of exercise goes a long way in helping to reduce your cholesterol. But there’s still one more thing. According to Roger Blumenthal, M.D., Director of the Ciccarone Preventive Cardiology Center at Johns Hopkins University, among those individuals who had the worst diet and exercise habits to begin with, some were able to reduce their LDL by as much as 10 to 15 percent. They were also able to increase their HDL by as much as 20 percent.
Haven’t been exercising lately? Then it’s very important that you start slowly. Not only that, but before you even begin, double-check with your doctor. He’ll evaluate your cardiovascular health to see how your system actually reacts to exercise.
Here are some general guidelines you can follow once you make the decision to exercise and prepare yourself with all the preliminaries.
In the beginning, select a form of physical activity that you can participate in for 10 to 20 minutes at a time at a moderate intensity. Good initial choices including walking, swimming, biking or even some type of exercise machine at a low-speed.
While we’ve already mentioned that moderate exercise is best, you need to be aware that you need to spend a little time doing it. The American Heart Association recommends that you work your way up to 30 minutes daily. If you’re also trying to lose weight, that organization also suggests you get as much as 60 minutes every day. While that may sound like an extended period of time, you can always break this hour up into 10-minute increments and still reap the profits.
The best of all worlds is to discover an activity you love. You’re much more likely to stick with it!
Another suggestion is to grab yourself an exercise friend. You not only have an individual who holds you accountable, but you also have a friend who can provide you with moral support. And sometimes that can make all the difference in the world!
Better than just choosing one activity, choose several different exercises. In this way you can switch from one to another and not get bored.