- How Much Exercise?
- 5 Effective Exercises
- Intermittent Fasting
When it comes to lowering cholesterol, there is no single exercise that works. Reducing cholesterol levels requires a combination of diet, exercise, lifestyle modifications, and medication if necessary.
However, regular exercise can help promote good health overall, especially if you incorporate aerobic exercises and resistance training.
How often should you exercise to lower cholesterol?
The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every day for good heart health. With a balanced diet and daily exercise of 30 minutes about 6 days a week, it could take 8 weeks to a year to see results, depending on your current body weight.
5 exercises to reduce cholesterol
- High-intensity interval training (HIIT): HIIT is probably one of the most efficient ways to reduce cholesterol and decrease overall body fat percentage. HIIT combines strenuous exercises with short breaks, called recovery periods, between each exercise. Based on your fitness level, a typical HIIT session can vary from 15 to 30 minutes. As it is a difficult type of workout regimen, it requires quite a bit of motivation to maintain a consistent program. You may need to avoid HIIT if you have joint problems, poor heart health, or back pain.
- Strength training: Lifting weights boosts your metabolic rate and maintains an efficient fat-burning rate, which means fat continues to burn even after a workout. In addition to burning fat, weight lifting exercises also build muscles and tone the body. For best results, strength training should be combined with HIIT and cardio exercises, such as running, swimming, or cycling.
- Running or brisk walking: Running and brisk walking are excellent ways to keep healthy, burn calories, and reduce body fat percentage, which all help to reduce cholesterol.
- Elliptical training: Using an elliptical trainer is a low-impact but effective cardio workout. Spending 30 minutes on an elliptical trainer can burn around 300 calories and helps you avoid the wear and tear on joints that can occur with running, making it ideal for older individuals.
- Bicycling: Bicycling is also easier on your joints and an effective way of lowering cholesterol levels. With high speed and intensity, you can burn up to 500 calories during a 30-minute workout.
How to reduce cholesterol through your diet
The USDA developed a guide for adults and children called “MyPlate” which replaces the obsolete “food pyramid.” With the MyPlate approach, there are five food groups in set proportions: fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains, and dairy.
The plate is divided into sections:
- Vegetables: 40% of the plate
- Protein: 20% of the plate
- Grains: 30% of the plate
- Fruit: 10% of the plate
- Dairy: Small cup of yogurt or a glass of fat-free milk
Dividing the plate this way makes it easier to understand the types and quantity of food to include in each meal to make it balanced. This diet plan can also help those with high cholesterol levels to eat a healthy diet without excess fat.
Reducing cholesterol with intermittent fasting
Any form of fasting helps you lose weight, and in turn, can help you reduce cholesterol levels. There are three methods of intermittent fasting:
- Alternate-day fasting
- Periodic fasting
- Daily time-restricted feeding
However, the most effective method is one that can be easily maintained based on your daily routine. A common feature is sticking to an 8-hour eating window, for example:
- Start at 10 a.m.
- End at 6 p.m.
- This way you are eating between the 8-hour window of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and fasting the rest of the time.
Latest Cholesterol News
Daily Health News
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Losing Weight. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/index.html
Harvard Health Publishing. Diet & Weight Loss. https://www.health.harvard.edu/topics/diet-and-weight-loss
National Institute of Health. Guide to Behavior Change. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/behavior.htm
U.S. Department of Agriculture. MyPlate. https://www.choosemyplate.gov
Top Which Exercise Is Best to Reduce Cholesterol Related Articles
Cholesterol Levels: What's Normal and How to Lower High CholesterolWhat do cholesterol numbers mean? LDL, HDL, good, bad, and triglycerides - Get the facts on cholesterol, blood testing, medications, and how to keep your cholesterol in check.
Cholesterol Levels: What You Need to KnowManaging your cholesterol levels can help to keep you healthy as you age.
Cholesterol (Lowering Your Cholesterol)High cholesterol and triglyceride levels increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Getting your cholesterol and triglyceride levels in an optimal range will help protect your heart and blood vessels. Cholesterol management may include lifestyle interventions (diet and exercise) as well as medications to get your total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides in an optimal range.
Cholesterol PictureCholesterol carried in particles of low density (LDL cholesterol) is referred to as the "bad" cholesterol because elevated levels of LDL cholesterol are associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease. See a picture of Cholesterol and learn more about the health topic.
Cholesterol TestA cholesterol blood test measures the amount of cholesterol in the body. There are two types of cholesterol; the "good" cholesterol or HDL, and the "bad" cholesterol or LDL. High cholesterol levels in the blood can lead to heart attack, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. Learn more about cholesterol tests and how to interpret them.
Cholesterol & Triglycerides: Mistakes That Can Affect Your CholesterolHigh cholesterol can be trouble. Find out from WebMD's slideshow if you’re doing things that can make it harder to keep your numbers in check.
HDL vs. LDL Cholesterol (Good and Bad)HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or the "good" cholesterol, and LDL (low-density lipoprotein), or the "bad" cholesterol, are lipoproteins that carry cholesterol through the veins and arteries of the body. HDL and LDL combined, is your "total" blood cholesterol. The difference between the two are that high levels of the "good," or HDL cholesterol, may protect against narrowing of the blood vessels in the body, which protects you against heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases. But high levels of LDL, or the "bad" cholesterol, may worsen the narrowing of the blood vessels in the body, which puts you at a greater risk of stroke, heart attack, and cardiovascular diseases, some of which are life threatening.Triglycerides are found in body fat and from the fats you eat.
Cholesterol QuizHigh cholesterol can be a dangerous condition. Take the Cholesterol Quiz to understand what high cholesterol means in terms of your health risks.
High Cholesterol: Frequently Asked QuestionsCholesterol occurs naturally in the body. High blood cholesterol levels increase a person's risk of developing heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, TIAs, and more. In addition to medication (fibrates, statins, bile acid sequestrants, and niacin), lifestyle changes can be made to lower blood cholesterol levels
How Dangerous Is High Cholesterol?Cholesterol is an important molecule that serves many vital functions in the body. High cholesterol is dangerous because it may lead to atherosclerosis, which can result in conditions such as angina, heart attack, stroke and hypertension.
Lower Cholesterol Levels with Diet and MedicationsHigh-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is considered "good" cholesterol because it actually works to keep the LDL or "bad" cholesterol from building up in your arteries. Foods like extra lean meats, skim milk, and vegetable-based "butter-like" substitutes may help decrease LDL levels in the bloodstream.
Lower Cholesterol TipsNeed to lower your cholesterol levels? Use these smart diet tips to quickly and easily lower your blood cholesterol levels. Choose heart-healthy foods to lower cholesterol and improve your heart health.
Cholesterol & Triglycerides: Surprising Causes of High CholesterolYou may think high cholesterol is linked to fatty foods and smoking. But some other causes may surprise you: certain coffees, pregnancy, and even some medicines. Find out what might be bumping your LDL levels up.
What Are the Causes of High Cholesterol?Your body naturally produces all the LDL (bad) cholesterol it needs. An unhealthy lifestyle – not enough exercise, too many unhealthy foods – makes your body produce more LDL cholesterol than it needs. This is the cause of high LDL cholesterol for most people.
What Are the Normal Cholesterol Levels By Age?Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in all the cells of the body. It is a type of fat that is produced by the liver. Cholesterol also comes from animal-derived foods, such as meat and dairy products. It is an essential substance needed by the body for various purposes. Too much cholesterol, however, harms the body and increases the risk of various medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and heart diseases.
What Reduces Cholesterol Quickly?High blood cholesterol levels can be managed to a great extent with lifestyle changes. However, not taking medicine isn’t a solution because only lifestyle changes may not be sufficient to treat high cholesterol levels.