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August 2018

Manage Your High Cholesterol with These Moves

So, you’ve been told to get your cholesterol levels back on a healthy track. You know you need to make some lifestyle changes, and perhaps you’ve even started eating different foods. But when it comes to exercise, you might be feeling lost. (And there’s no John Locke or Jack Shephard around to save you from the Smoke Monster that is Working Out.) 

Don’t sweat it—save that part for the gym (or when running from the Smoke Monster).

Woman running along a mountain trail

Exercise does have the power to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Just remember this equation: aerobic activity + resistance training = boosted heart rate and better cholesterol levels. (Yeah, sorry—we’re throwin’ some math at you.) 

Need some examples of exercise that will get your ticker pumping and kick that high cholesterol out the door? Try these:

Brisk walking

Power walking will boost your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, and strengthen your heart. It can also significantly reduce your risk for stroke—more so as you pick up the pace. (Plus, you can don a fun ‘80s track suit while you book it across the block and let the neighbors gawk at your sweet, sweet fashion sense.)

High-intensity interval training

Also known as HIIT, this type of workout requires intense periods of exercise for up to 8 minutes. But then you get a recovery period that lasts just as long. (Phew.) The workout continues for up to an hour. HIIT can improve aerobic fitness and cholesterol profiles, and can be modified for all fitness levels. You can even practice HIIT while cycling, swimming, or using an elliptical.


It’s time to pump you up! Research suggests resistance training can improve cholesterol levels, so don’t shy away from the weight room during your next gym visit.


More on cholesterol

Here is a free interactive cholesterol guide.

Online Medical Reviewer: Gonnella, Joseph, MD
Date Last Reviewed: 6/4/2018
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