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Lifestyle Cholesterol Management (cont.)

Cholesterol Management Using Exercise

Regular aerobic exercise helps lower cholesterol levels as well as control high blood pressure, diabetes, and body weight. While most health organizations recommend 30 minutes a day of some type of exercise, the bottom line is that more is probably better, but some is still better than none.

How much exercise is enough?

Walking 2 miles in 30 minutes 3 times a week constitutes a moderate level of aerobic exercise. That may be enough to raise your HDL cholesterol by 1 to 3 points (higher is better) and lower your LDL cholesterol (lower is better).

If you can't get in a 30-minute block of exercise all at once, do a few minutes of exercise here and there throughout the day (climb the stairs at work, walk around the block on your lunch break, park and walk). Researchers have demonstrated that exercise even without weight loss can have a positive impact on improving cholesterol levels. It is the amount of activity, and not necessarily any changes in fitness or intensity of exercise that is important for cholesterol improvement and decreasing the risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

Medically reviewed by Robert J. Bryg, MD; Board Certified Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Cardiovascular Disease

REFERENCES:

American Heart Association. What Your Cholesterol Levels Mean.
<http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=183>

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health. Third Report of the Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III).
<http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/cholesterol/index.htm>

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005.
<http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/DietaryGuidelines/2005/2005DGPolicyDocument.pdf>


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/19/2014

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