How does physical activity help reduce cholesterol

Why cholesterol is important?

In general, the higher your total blood cholesterol level, the greater your risk of coronary heart disease. You should aim for a total cholesterol level of under 5mmol/l ( millimols of cholesterol level of under your blood cholesterol is even slightly above this level, you can greatly benefit from reducing it.

Other factors which affect your risk of heart disease include smoking, high blood pressure, being overweight, being physically inactive and having diabetes, particularly if your blood sugar control is not good.

  • Regular physical activity helps lower total blood cholesterol and this is dose related meaning the more you exercise, the greater the fall in cholesterol.
  • Perhaps more importantly physical activity raises the level off good HDl cholesterol as well as increases the ratio of HDl (‘ good cholesterol’) to LDL (‘bad cholesterol’).
  • Physical activity affects the measure of HDL and LDL  more effectively than any other measure alone, but it has to be done regularly to maintain the improvements.
  • Regular physical activity has the additional benefits of lowering several other important coronary risk factors such as blood pressure and body weight as well as reducing the risk of developing diabetes.
  • physical activity, along with a healthy diet, helps reduce stress and improves your overall feeling of well being ans quality of life, and helps you to sleep well.
  • Additional general benefits of physical activity include reductions in the risk of bowel cancer, osteoporosis and the risk of falling.

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