Everyone already knows that exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle even if certain people choose not to exercise at all. The fact that only around 10% of American adults exercise at least three times a week however may indicate that many people are not aware of just how beneficial exercise really can be. Well, consider this fact:
An estimated 99.9 million American adults have total blood cholesterol values of 200 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter) and higher, and of these about 34.5 million American adults have levels of 240 or above. In adults, total cholesterol levels of 240 mg/dl or higher are considered high risk. Levels from 200 to 239 mg/dl are considered borderline-high risk.
So then, what does this have to do with supporting a case to make exercise a priority? I mean how can exercise help with cholesterol levels anyway? Isn’t high cholesterol only controllable by diet and medication? Let’s review the following:
In a study reported in the “Journal of the American Medical Association” in 1989, 13,000 men and women were studied for eight years. Risk factors for death from all diseases were studied and this was the conclusion:
The data showed that an unfit man could reduce his risk of death from all diseases by some 37% and an unfit woman could reduce her risk by around 48%. The summary was that exercise not only lowered cholesterol levels significantly but also lowered the risk of death from heart disease as well as from all diseases.
Another study conducted by the “Centers for Disease Control” in 1989 concluded that people who do not exercise have twice the risk of developing heart disease than those who do exercise.
One study done at the University of California showed that married men aged 35 to 65 who started a regular exercise program had more sexual intercourse with their wives and had more orgasms than those who did not exercise. (If that’s not a good enough reason to don those jogging shorts and weight lifting gloves, I don’t know what is!)
Cholesterol is just another type of fat in your body. Since exercise helps to burn up fat in your body, this fat is also burned up as well during exercise. As a result of this, your cholesterol levels are reduced through exercise. But what kind of exercise is best for this? The long and short answer is; any kind of exercise! Even walking regularly has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels.
Of course limiting your intake of fatty cuts of meat and sticking to low-fat or even better, fat-free dairy products helps too. Also, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, particularly high fiber ones, coupled with a moderate exercise program will surly help you win the battle against high cholesterol.