Lowering Your High Cholesterol: 6 Exercises That Will Pay Off

Written by Colleen M. Story 

When you were first diagnosed with high cholesterol, your doctor may have talked to you about exercise. Besides improving your diet, exercising is one of the most effective lifestyle changes you can make to help bring your numbers down naturally.

Your first thought may have been, “I hate running.” Or maybe you like running, but you’ve been sidelined lately because of an injury. Or maybe you don’t mind jogging, but you hate the treadmill.

Running isn’t the only way to turn your health around. There’s no doubt that it’s an effective aerobic exercise, but several other good choices are available that can help counteract the negative affects high cholesterol has on your health.

Why exercise is effective at lowering cholesterol

Cholesterol is one of the fatty substances we have circulating in our blood. If we have too much, it can stick to the inside walls of our arteries, narrowing them and increasing risk of cardiovascular disease.

It’s not only the amount of cholesterol in the blood that affects our risk, though. Other factors play a part. One of these is the type of protein that carries the cholesterol through the body. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is more likely to cause problems. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol protects the body from cholesterol buildup.

Exercise helps increase levels of HDL good cholesterol. Researchers reported on this in Lipids in Health and DiseaseTrusted Source. Physically active women had significantly higher levels of HDL cholesterol than sedentary women. Another study published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular BiologyTrusted Source found similar results. In men with belly fat, regular endurance exercise increased HDL good cholesterol levels.

Exercise may even change the nature of our cholesterol. In 2002, researchers from Duke University Medical Center found that exercise improved the number and size of the particles carrying cholesterol through the body. Those who exercised more had larger, “fluffier” particles that were less likely to clog arteries.

Exercise can help you lower cholesterol numbers even if you’re overweight. In the Journal of Obesity, researchers reported that overweight and obese adults who walked, jogged, and cycled while eating a cholesterol-lowering diet improved total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.

Best exercises for lowering cholesterol

Some research has indicated that it may be that “how much” you exercise is more important than what kind of exercise you do. That means it’s worth it to incorporate more activity into your day however you can. Take a walk during your lunch hour, choose the stairs, stand up to take phone calls, or store a jump rope at your desk.

In addition, try to incorporate at least 30 minutes of structured exercise into each day. Any exercise is better than none, but the following six types have shown in studies to be effective at reducing cholesterol levels.

1. Go for a nice run or jog

If your joints are in good shape and you enjoy jogging, you’re in luck, as this is a great exercise for lowering cholesterol and for managing your weight. Don’t think you have to race, though. An easy jog for a few miles may be better for lowering cholesterol than a fast sprint around the block.

In a 2013 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers reported that long-distance runners showed significantly better improvements in HDL cholesterol levels than short-distance runners (less than 10 miles a week). They also saw better improvements in their blood pressure.

2. Take a brisk walk

Whether walking is as good as running for cardiovascular health has long been the subject of debate. Especially as we get older, walking can often be a much better exercise in terms of protecting joint health.

Researchers reported good news on this in 2013 in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular BiologyTrusted Source. They compared tens of thousands of runners to an equal number of walkers. Results showed that the amount of exercise was what mattered, not the type.

People who exerted the same level of energy when exercising experienced similar benefits, whether they walked or ran. Benefits included reduced risk of high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

It takes longer to walk off calories than to run them off. If you burn 300 calories either way, though, you’ve spent about the same amount of energy. You are likely to experience similar benefits. Lead author of the study above, Paul Williams, stated that walking 4.3 miles at a brisk pace would take about the same amount of energy as running three miles.

3. Bike to work or just for fun

Cycling expends about the same energy as jogging, but it’s easier on your joints. That’s an important thing for many people as they age. Hips and knees are vulnerable to arthritis, and we all do need to watch out for them. If you’re starting to feel some pain in these joints, it may be best to choose cycling over running.

If it’s possible to bike to work, try it. Studies have shown some positive benefits. Scientists reported in the Journal of the American Heart AssociationTrusted Source that people who biked to work were less likely to develop high cholesterol than those who didn’t.

A second study published in CirculationTrusted Source found that cycling reduces risk of heart disease. A group of adults between the ages of 50–65 who regularly spent time biking had 11–18 fewer heart attacks over the period of 20 years than those who didn’t.

4. Take a few laps at the pool

Swimming is probably the most joint-saving aerobic exercise you can do. In a 2010 study, researchers compared swimming with walking in women aged 50 to 70 years. They found that swimming improved body weight, body fat distribution, and LDL cholesterol levels better than walking did.

Researchers also looked at the beneficial effects of swimming in men in the International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education. They found that swimmers had 53 percent, 50 percent, and 49 percent lower risk of dying from any cause than did men who were sedentary, walkers, or runners, respectively.

5. Lift a few weights

So far, we’ve been talking mostly about aerobic exercise. It is the type of exercise most commonly recommended for reducing risk of heart disease.

Some research suggests, though, that resistance training is also extremely beneficial for those with high cholesterol. The journal Atherosclerosis published a study showing that those who participated in resistance training were able to clear LDL from their bloodstream faster than those who didn’t.

Click Here To Read More https://www.healthline.com/health/high-cholesterol/treating-with-statins/best-exercises#Best-exercises-for-lowering-cholesterol

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Why Consistency is Important in Fitness

By Tonny Wandella

Consistent exercise is essential for accomplishing fitness goals. Making a fitness schedule will assist you in being more consistent. A dedication to a regular training routine will improve your fitness, your health, and your emotional well-being.

Committing to a fitness programme entails creating a strategy for a single exercise or a series of activities conducted consistently. It is natural for some people to become enthused about exercising and dive right in. Unless a long-term plan is in place or some consideration has gone into how the physical activity will be continued, there is typically a decline in excitement, resulting in inconsistency.

Consistent exercise is essential for your physical health. Running five kilometres one day and then avoiding exercise for the next two weeks will only make you sore. It is too taxing on the body to engage in short bursts of vigorous exercise. To achieve the best results, gradually increase your cardiovascular strength, flexibility, and strength training. Gradually increasing the intensity will give your muscles, tendons, and ligaments time to acclimate to the strains and obstacles of a workout plan.

A steady fitness routine decreases stress and improves mental health. When you exercise consistently, your body produces endorphins, which improve your mood. You’ve probably had these good feelings after completing an aerobic workout. You may also notice that when you do not exercise for several days or weeks, your energy level drops and your mood does not improve.

Maintaining a consistent exercise routine will keep you feeling refreshed both physically and psychologically. When you exercise consistently, your muscles will progressively develop, and your mind can experience less tension and greater relaxation.

When working to achieve goals, whether in or out of the gym, consistency is undoubtedly the most critical factor. Without consistency, programmes become disorganised, the body has a more difficult time responding, and building habits may be more difficult.

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15 Best Exercises to Burn Belly Fat, According to Personal Trainers

By Leah Groth and Meghan Rabbit

When many people think of losing weight, one of the first things that comes to mind is getting a toned and taut tummy. We hate to break it to you, but doing hundreds of crunches every day isn’t the best way to lose belly fat. In fact, exercises that promote spot reduction just don’t exist.

“Spot reduction isn’t a viable approach to losing belly fat,” explains fitness trainer and nutrition expert Corey Phelps, creator of the Cultivate by Corey Fitness Program. “But there are some great core-focused exercises that will torch fat all over the body, resulting in a strong and more chiseled core.”

Celebrity trainer and nutrition expert Jillian Michaels adds that doing a variety of exercises that combine cardio, strength, and core work will ultimately help you reduce body fat. “I’m a big fan of exercises that are core-focused, but work multiple muscle groups simultaneously with a HIIT component for added calorie burn,” she says.

Please note: It’s absolutely true that you can’t outrun a less-than-nutritious diet—eating healthy, vitamin-rich foods and a balanced diet play a big role in overall fitness and helping you reach your goals (it’s best to consult with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) to figure out what works best for you).

Here are the best exercises and workouts to lose belly fat, according to personal trainers. Need more workout inspiration? Pick up the Tone Up in 15 workout DVD, which is filled with 15-minute total-body workouts that you can do at home.

1 Burpees

This exercise works your core, as well as your chest, shoulders, lats, triceps and quads, explains Michaels. Since burpees involve explosive plyometric movement, they’ll get your heart pumping too.

How to do burpees: Stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart and send your hips back as you lower your body toward the ground in a low squat. Then, place your hands right outside of your feet and hop your feet back, allowing your chest to touch the floor. Push your hands against the floor to lift your body up into a plank and then jump your feet just outside of your hands. With your weight in your heels, jump explosively into the air with your arms overhead.

2 Mountain Climbers

Like burpees, Michaels is a fan of this moving plank exercise because it works your core, in addition to a slew of other body muscles.

How to do mountain climbers: Get into a high-plank position with your wrists directly under your shoulders. Keep your core tight, drawing your belly button in toward your spine. Drive your right knee toward your chest and then bring it back to plank. Then, drive your left knee toward your chest and bring it back. Continue to alternate sides.

Click Here To Read More https://www.prevention.com/fitness/g20459708/best-workouts-to-target-belly-fat/

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The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

By Tonny Wandella

People who exercise daily do so because it offers them a tremendous sense of well-being. They have more energy all through the day, sleep well at night, have clearer memories, and are more relaxed and optimistic about themselves and their life. It’s also an effective treatment for a variety of common mental health issues.

Exercise regularly can have a profoundly favourable effect on depression, anxiety, and even ADHD. It also reduces stress, enhances memory, promotes sleep, and improves your general mood. You don’t have to be a fitness enthusiast to gain the benefits. According to research, even small quantities of exercise can make a significant difference. You may learn to use exercise as a strong tool to deal with mental health issues, increase your energy and attitude, and get more out of life, regardless of your age or fitness level.

Exercise has been shown in studies to be as helpful as antidepressant medication in treating mild to moderate depression—without the adverse effects, of course. A recent Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health study discovered that running for about 20 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduced the risk of severe depression by 26%. In addition to alleviating depression symptoms, research shows that sticking to an exercise routine can help you avoid relapsing.

Exercise is a safe and effective natural anti-anxiety medication. It reduces tension and stress, increases physical and mental vitality, and improves overall well-being by releasing endorphins. Something which gets you moving will help, but paying attention rather than zoning out can provide a greater benefit.

Regular exercise is one of the simplest and most effective strategies to minimise ADHD symptoms and improve focus, motivation, memory, as well as mood. Physical activity quickly increases dopamine, norepinephrine, plus serotonin levels in the brain, all of which influence focus and attention. In this regard, exercise functions similarly to ADHD drugs such as Ritalin or Adderall.

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The Best Bodyweight Exercises That Anyone Can Do

By Mark Weeks

You already know that daily exercise is essential not only for your overall fitness and physique, but that it is also excellent for your brain health and memory, lowers your risk of developing chronic diseases, boosts energy levels, and aids in weight loss goals. The great news is you don’t need a gym membership or even access to a ton of weights to get a great full-body workout in! Check out this list of the 5 Best Bodyweight Exercises that anyone can do to strengthen their entire body!

5 Best Bodyweight Exercises for Full Body Strength

Here are the best exercises that anyone can do at home for full-body strength and conditioning, in no particular order. The great thing about these exercises is that they can all be made easier or more difficult and can be tailored to your current fitness level by simply switching up some of the training factors, like: weight used, adding resistance bands, doing more reps, less rest time, etc.

  1. Bridges / Hip Thrusts

Bridges and Hip Thrusts are amazing for glute activation and strength work, and there are so many variations that you can be sure you will never get bored. Bridges and hip thrusts work the hamstrings, core, lower back, abs, obliques, and hip flexors. The classic glute bridge will find you laying flat on the floor, feet planted about hip-distance apart, pushing through your heels to raise your hips to the ceiling and squeezing your glutes at the top. Hold for 1-2 seconds at the top position, keeping a neutral spine, and lower back to the ground. You can intensify this exercise in a variety of ways from adding weight, adding a resistance band at the knees, using a single leg, adding more seconds to the top hold, or altering your tempo in how fast you raise/lower your bridge.

  1. Lunges

An excellent move to work on both mobility and stability, as well as strength, is the lunge. The lunge is a part of any well-rounded lower body routine. Since lunges are a unilateral exercise, you can focus on equal strength on both legs. You can perform static lunges (no movement involved), walking forward lunges, reverse lunges, curtsey lunges, step down lunges from an elevated platform, and more.

  1. Squats

The squat is truly a full-body exercise, working everything from legs to core and back again. You can perform regular bodyweight squats, toss in a mini band for extra tension, or add weight in a variety of ways, from dumbbells at your sides, at shoulder height, or even pushed up overhead for a major core challenge. Once you’ve mastered the classic bodyweight squat you can also switch up the time under tension, or how many seconds it takes you to lower to the bottom of the squat position, how long you hold it there, and how quickly you drive back up.

  1. Push-Ups

There’s a reason push-ups are such a classic exercise, they truly work almost every muscle in your body. If you’re not able to complete one perfect push-up yet, do not to worry. Try getting stronger with Incline Push-Ups as opposed to on your knees. Simply elevate the push-up by placing your hands on a bench or chair. When you’re ready for the classic push-up, start at the top of a high plank, with your hands directly under your shoulders. Press your toes into the ground, brace your core and squeeze your glutes. While holding your body stable, bend your elbows so that your body lowers toward the floor until your chest just touches the ground. Your elbows should remain close to your body as you think about keeping your hands pressed into the floor. Core still strong, exhale as you push back up the top.

  1. Planks

The classic plank is an excellent abdominal and core exercise that also works to strengthen your back, chest and shoulders! Plus, planks are a more effective (and safer!) alternative to crunches when it comes to building core strength and stability. If traditional planks are too challenging, come onto your knees or try incline planks to begin. If you’re ready to challenge yourself, there are a multitude of variations to make planks more difficult, like adding more time to your plank holds, trying a leg or arm lift, or transitioning from forearms to palms and back down again.

  1. Bonus: Step Ups

Steps Ups are an excellent and super effective lower body exercise for glutes and quads and, depending on the tempo used, can be a great cardio workout as well! You will need a bench or stair for this simple exercise. Start by placing one foot on the elevated platform, and push through your heel to lift your entire body from the ground up onto the bench or stair. Using a slow and controlled movement, lower your body back down to the ground and to the starting position. You can complete the required number of reps on one side before switching to the other leg, or you can alternate legs as you go.

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The 15 Best Upper Body Exercises To Build A Strong Torso

Written by Mike Dewar

If it’s one thing strength athletes can agree on, it’s that sumo deadlifts are cheating. Kidding. We bet dollars to donuts that any strength athlete is drawn to the idea of building a big chestbulging biceps, and rounded boulder shoulders — aka, a complete upper body. These muscles look impressive in a tank top or a sweater, and they’re also key players in pressing more weight and deadlifting heavier. So, it’s a win-win.  

The best upper body exercises aren’t fancy or foreign to you. In fact, we also bet you’ve done every exercise on this list. But are you doing them correctly? If you’re reading this article, it’s safe to assume you want more in the upper body department. In the list below, we’re going to outline the absolute best upper body exercises, explain why they rock and then tell you how to execute them flawlessly.

Best Upper Body Exercises

Read more https://barbend.com/best-upper-body-exercises/

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