Cholesterol is a substance that we need to control because although it is necessary for the organism, excessive levels can be a serious health problem. Specifically, they increase the risk of stroke or cardiovascular disease.
When a blood test determines that we have cholesterol levels above normal and considered dangerous, it is usual that your doctor puts a treatment based on a low-fat diet accompanied by regular physical exercise.
Normally, when the excess cholesterol is moderate, this treatment helps to reduce the levels of this substance without major problems. However, sometimes it is also necessary to take certain specific medications.
Physical exercise and cholesterol
To know the benefits of physical exercise on cholesterol levels, it is convenient to know that there are two main types: HDL (good) and LDL (bad). In general, HDL has a protective effect on the organism and LDL causes a risk of thrombi in the arteries if it is elevated.
Thus, regular physical exercise at a controlled intensity helps to reduce body fat. It should not be forgotten that cholesterol is a type of lipid (fat).
In addition, physical exercise also helps to increase the size of the particles that carry cholesterol through the organism. This causes different positive effects, such as an increase in HDL and a decrease in LDL.
It has been scientifically proven that sport and physical exercise appropriate to the individual situation improves the patient’s situation. This is especially due to an increase in HDL cholesterol, also known as good cholesterol.
The best exercises to do
Normally, the medical specialist will establish a physical exercise plan adapted to the characteristics of each patient. In this regard, factors such as weight, age, sex and habitual sports habits should be taken into account.
However, the best physical exercises to reduce cholesterol levels are aerobic exercises, also popularly known as ‘cardio’. Among these exercises are walking, going up and down stairs, cycling, skating, running or swimming. This type of exercise is very beneficial because it causes the movement of large muscle groups.
But in addition, to reduce cholesterol levels, resistance or strength exercises, such as weights or the use of machines in the gym, are also recommended. Normally, they have a greater influence in this type of treatment.
Although it should be taken into account that a combination of both types of exercise can generate an increase in the speed of cholesterol reduction, reach balanced levels and promote cardiovascular health.
Specifically, experts in this area recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical exercise five days a week. Another option is to perform about 25 minutes of intense physical activity three days a week.
One of the great benefits of the so-called strength exercise is that they allow fat burning, due to the activation of the metabolism. In this way they also contribute to reduce LDL.
In any case, within the physical exercises to reduce cholesterol, the ideal would be to establish a training plan that combines aerobic and strength exercises. This would increase the speed of LDL reduction and HDL increase.