Maintaining adequate levels cholesterol is important for the health of persons and prevent cardiovascular events. Exercise is essential to keep in shape, lose kilos and lower the level of bad cholesterol.
As reported in ‘The New England Journal of Medicine’ a group of doctors from Duke University (UK) recently concluded that heavy exercise has a positive effect in lowering the levels of bad cholesterol (the called LDL cholesterol or low density lipoproteins) [source].
Even Without Weight Loss
This paper explains that, in the case of people who do little exercise (the equivalent of running 20 miles a week) the benefits of the activity are independent of the intensity with which it is done (might as well go the distance in 10 minutes or 20). In any case, some exercise is better than nothing. However,it is clear that more intense exercise has more positive advantages for lowering cholesterol.
Cholesterol adheres to the surface of some proteins to circulate in human blood and nourish the tissue. The new particles are created from the union of cholesterol and protein, are called lipoproteins. In the human body when there is excess lipoproteins, in other words when your cholesterol levels are not normal, there is an increased risk of coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis [reference].
The study explains that cholesterol ‘moves’ through the blood through small and dense LDL particles as well as larger LDL particles. The small and dense ones are more dangerous than the larger particles. The findings of this study show that exercise increases the number and size of the particles ‘transport’ cholesterol through the blood fluid; so that, added “any exercise is better than nothing”.
Anything is Better than Nothing
In fact, among the 84 sedentary and overweight subjects, those who did no physical activity showed a worsening in their cholesterol levels as compared with to those that practiced sport. All those that were doing some kind of activity, regardless of the amount or intensity, had more advantages than passive subjects. They were divided into three groups according to the levels of exercise practiced: plenty of exercise (32 Km) / high intensity, moderate exercise (19.2 Km) / high intensity or little exercise (19.2 Km) performed with moderate / low intensity.
According to the director of the study, Dr. William Kraus, the guidelines recently issued by various US about government agencies (such as the ‘Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’ and their own ‘National Academy of Science’) “are based on opinions and consensus, rather than the actual results of these clinical studies. “
Due to the effects of exercise on the size of said particles, Kraus warns that inactivity lags behind smoking as a major cardiovascular risk factor. It therefore recommends that doctors put the emphasis not so much that patients lose weight and do exercise to reduce their risk.
This is the first work that stands to be gained benefits of exercise in reducing cholesterol and fats is achieved regardless of whether or not losing weight. Physical activity achieves a gradual response in a number of variables that favor the reduction of lipids. It is also important to follow a healthy diet plan in addition to exercising to manage cholesterol. To learn more about how to plan a working low cholesterol diet, I recommend you to read this.