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How Much Exercise Does It Take To Lower Cholesterol?


Finding a buddy to exercise with can be helpful, too, both for moral support and to help make exercise more enjoyable. The American Heart Association recommends working up to 30 minutes of physical activity per day, or 60 minutes per day if you're also trying to lose weight. Get access to over 50 premium fitness plans—complete with daily workouts, nutrition info, expert advice, and so much more! Know that while the intensity may be moderate, the "exercise volume," which means the amount of time you spend exercising, has to be pretty high. Finding a buddy to exercise with can be helpful, too, both for moral support and to help make exercise more enjoyable.

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Exactly how much exercise is needed to lower cholesterol has been a matter of some debate. In general, most public health organizations recommend, at a minimum, 30 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous exercise , such as walking, jogging , biking, or gardening. But a study by researchers at Duke University Medical Center found that more intense exercise is actually better than moderate exercise for lowering cholesterol.

In a study of overweight , sedentary people who did not change their diet, the researchers found that those who got moderate exercise the equivalent of 12 miles of walking or jogging per week did lower their LDL level somewhat. But the people who did more vigorous exercise the equivalent of 20 miles of jogging a week lowered it even more.

The people who exercised vigorously also raised their levels of high-density lipoprotein HDL -- the "good" kind of lipoprotein that actually helps clear cholesterol from the blood. According to Kraus's findings, however, even though moderate exercise was not as effective in reducing LDL or increasing HDL, it did keep cholesterol levels from rising. Just how much of an effect exercise has on cholesterol is also a matter of debate.

If you haven't been exercising regularly already, it's important to start slowly. Be sure to check in with your doctor, so that he or she can evaluate your current cardiovascular health. This could mean blood tests or a treadmill test to see how your heart reacts when you exercise. Of course, exercise alone won't guarantee a low cholesterol level.

Genetics, weight, age, gender, and diet all contribute to an individual's cholesterol profile. The most effective way to ensure a healthy cholesterol level is to modify your diet and, if need be, take cholesterol-lowering medications. But exercise has many advantages beyond lowering cholesterol.

Exercise has been shown to keep bones strong, reduce the risk of cancer , diabetes , stroke , and obesity, and to improve mood. The Exercise-Cholesterol Link Researchers aren't entirely sure how exercise lowers cholesterol , but they are beginning to have a clearer idea. Some exercise is better than none; more exercise is better than some. How Much Will It Help? Continued Once you're cleared to begin working out, follow these guidelines: Choose a form of exercise you can do for minutes at a time, with at least moderate intensity, such as walking, biking, swimming , jogging, or using an exercise machine at low speed.