How you can put high cholesterol to sleep by hitting the gym.
Cholesterol is produced naturally by the body and gets fed to your body through all sorts of food. While a certain level of cholesterol is necessary to keep your body functioning properly, too much can be dangerous, and if it leads to a heart attack, excessive cholesterol can be deadly.
Want to know about one of the best ways to fend off high cholesterol? You’ll need to put on your exercise outfit and head directly to the gym. Keep reading to learn why your lower cholesterol levels may depend on exercise and what you’ll need to do in the gym to keep your levels low.
Through the exercise process, your body does two amazing things. It reduces the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in your body and increases the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in your body. Why does this matter, and why do you want more of any kind of cholesterol?
Getting rid of LDL is obviously a good thing, especially if you consider all cholesterol to be bad cholesterol. But in the eyes of your physician, LDL truly is bad cholesterol, since it is responsible for the artery-clogging affects cholesterol is known for. HDL, on the other hand, is actually beneficial to your body. Though researchers are unsure exactly what makes HDL so helpful, it is thought that this kind of cholesterol pushes excess cholesterol out of the arteries, into the liver, and out of the body. Regardless of what makes HDL work, it has been proven to reduce your likelihood of heart attack.
But It Takes Lots
While exercise increases your HDL while lowering your LDL and helping you get better control over your overall cholesterol, it takes a good bit of exercise to really kill off cholesterol in the gym. So if you’re accustomed to stopping by the gym when the mood hits you or when your schedule allows, you’re going to have to change.
Instead of maintaining a rather lax exercise schedule, you’re going to need to spend some time in the gym four or five days a week. Any kind of exercise is good, but spreading your exercise wings is best for fighting cholesterol. Therefore, spend time stretching out, getting plenty of aerobic exercise, and don’t forget strength training. By going to the gym and working out most days of the week, your body will begin to get rid of unwanted cholesterol and create more of the good, heart-friendly cholesterol.
Better With Food
By itself, exercise will definitely have a positive impact on your cholesterol levels. But as great as exercise may be on improving your cholesterol levels, exercise alone will never be enough. For maximum cholesterol-killing ability, you’re going to have to change how you eat.
An easy first step is to look at the labels on the foods you’re eating. If there is a lot of cholesterol, toss it and grab something else. Prefer to not pay attention to food labels? There’s an even better solution. Up your consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and start making your own food instead of buying prepackaged goods that are more likely to be loaded with fat and cholesterol. You’ll not only help your cholesterol levels, but you’ll be better able to maintain your weight and will enjoy a sudden boost in energy that prepackaged foods simply can’t offer.
Raising the Bar
Wondering what your exercise routine is fighting for? If you’re unsure what healthy or high cholesterol levels are, use the chart below to find out just the goal you’re trying to reach by pushing yourself in the gym.
Ideal Cholesterol Levels
Total Cholesterol: 200 mg/dL or lower
HDL Cholesterol: 60 mg/dL or higher
LDL Cholesterol: 100 mg/dL or lower
Dangerous Cholesterol Levels
Total Cholesterol: 240 mg/dL or higher
HDL Cholesterol: 40 mg/dL or lower (50 mg/dL or lower for women)
LDL Cholesterol: 160 mg/dL or higher