Americans have been told to diligently monitor their cholesterol levels, and if it rises above specific thresholds, 200 for total cholesterol and 130 for LDL, they need to take steps to bring it down to acceptable levels. This is important if we are to avoid heart disease. The result is that about one fourth of all Americans 45 years and older are taking a statin drug, according to the National Center For Health Statistics. While these drugs are successful at improving lipid profile, they are expensive and may cause side effects. Another option is to start an exercise program. Not only can you bring your cholesterol levels down, you would also enjoy the other benefits of an active lifestyle such as better energy, improved mood, and a stronger immune system.
Exercise can improve lipid profile by decreasing LDL and increasing HDL. This is done in a variety of ways. One of the most obvious ways is by allowing you to maintain a healthy weight, which is associated with lower LDL levels.
Researchers also believe that there are 2 other ways that exercise can reduce LDL. The first way is that exercise increases the size of the proteins that carry cholesterol through the blood. Smaller denser particles are considered more dangerous because they can get into the linings of the heart and blood vessels and cause damage, so keeping these particles larger reduces the risk of heart disease.
The second way is that exercise stimulates enzymes that help remove LDL from the blood and blood vessel walls and moves them to the liver for excretion. This is important because the body needs cholesterol for healthy functioning but it needs a way to get rid of the cholesterol when it is done with it. This process is a way of staying balanced.
Exercise can also raise HDL levels. Most studies have shown that aerobic exercise can increase HDLL by 3-6%.
So what kind of exercise is most effective for cholesterol levels? Research has shown that intense exercise is effective at improving levels, while less intense exercise is effective at maintaining levels. An elliptical trainer is a versatile fitness machine that will allow you to design a workout routine that will achieve either of these goals. If you are a couch potato and want to become fit you can start our slow, then use the features of the elliptical, such as resistance, incline, and strides per minute, to gradually increase the intensity as your fitness improves. The lower rate of perceived exertion, which means your body is working harder than it feels, makes it easier to maintain intense exercise levels. Since an elliptical workout is low impact, you can enjoy the benefits of fitness even if you have joint problems. And the pre set programs allow you to vary your workouts which will help avoid burnout.
Maintaining health cholesterol levels is important if you want to live a long and active life. A regular exercise program on a new or used elliptical trainer can give you a healthy lipid profile without the use of expensive drugs that may cause side effects.