Cholesterol is a wax-like substance present in blood, which is responsible for building healthy cells in the body. But its higher levels can result in the growth of fatty deposits or plaque that prevent adequate blood flow to the arteries, increasing the chances of a heart attack or stroke.
Finding out about high cholesterol in the body may be a setback. But things can be turned around with some basic lifestyle changes. Regular exercise, along with eating healthier and leading a more active life would be some of them.
Weight gain results in producing more ‘bad cholesterol’ or LDL in the body, which results in heart disease. Regular exercise helps in maintaining or even losing weight, which results in the body producing more HDL or ‘good cholesterol’ and lowering the levels of triglycerides.
All kinds of exercises that promote agility and movement in the body, as well as include the use of strength and force are great for maintaining good health and fitness, as they help burn calories from foods as well as make use of all the nutrients.
Here are a few forms of exercising that help in maintaining good cholesterol levels.
Combining two of the most natural movements, brisk walking and running, is a great way to maintain basic levels of health and fitness. Regular walking and running help to keep heart in good health by encouraging intense cardiovascular activity and promoting blood circulation to all parts of the body. The other clear benefit of walking or running over many other activities is that it is free of cost. It can be done anywhere. Just pick proper running or walking shoes, wear comfortable clothes, pick a time of day that is convenient for you (and not too hot) and set off.
It is a lower impact activity when compared to running. cycling gives you several benefits. If you don’t like the outdoors, cycling machines are also available at gyms. Cycling machine help you to avoid extreme weather. They also allow you to remain in shape by pedaling for as long as you can.
If you have access to a swimming pool nearby, this is another great way to keep yourself fit. A study, published in the journal Metabolism in 2010, suggested that swimming had a greater effect on those leading sedentary lives with a better effect on weight loss, body fat or even lowering cholesterol than activities like walking.
A lot of people may be averse to weight training for the fear of bulking up or injuring themselves but training with weights has tremendous benefits for your health. Combining aerobic activity with weight training results in quicker weight loss due to its positive effect on metabolism. Also giving you enough strength to carry out daily or functional, household tasks. The combination of these activities also leads to improved cardiovascular health, according to multiple studies.
It is a low-intensity form of exercise, yoga has tremendous health benefits with regards to maintaining or improving cardiovascular health. A study published in the Indian Heart Journal in 2013 reported that yoga reduced levels of triglycerides, LDL and cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes, along with increasing the levels of HDL.
Importance of regular exercise:
While some of us may have had active childhoods, doing all kinds of physical activity like playing sports, the onset of adulthood and heavy workload takes a toll on a person’s overall quality of life. Some, on the other hand, may have never seen the inside of a gym or a fitness center and settled into a sedentary life with time. However, it is never too late to begin.
If you are just beginning your fitness journey, it is always better to seek the advice of a doctor and understand your body’s limitations with respect to prior ailments if any. It is also best to start with low intensity fitness programmes.
Ensure that you include a few minutes of warm-up exercises before setting off on a walk or a run or performing any other physical activity to reduce the risk of running injuries or workout injuries. Even more important is to understand your own body’s limitations; those with weak or injured knees shouldn’t be performing exercises that involve running. Instead, they can think about other forms of exercises like cycling or swimming, or work towards strengthening the weak joints of the body.
Finding out about one’s own poor health can be distressing, but it is also an opportunity to turn things around for the better. Good health is a result of consistent good habits practiced over time.
Maintaining a healthy body weight with regular exercise, balanced diet and avoiding bad habits like smoking or drinking go a long way in maintaining good cholesterol levels in the body.
Stressful lives at home or even at work are major contributing factors towards poor health. Exercising helps with lowering the levels of stress, allowing you to take time off for yourself. It is a great way to indulge in physical activities that you may have left behind as you grew up. It is never too late to start your fitness journey.