I've heard that working out can lower your cholesterol? If it's true, what kind of exercise works best?

ask the trainer, jim beatty

It's less about what kind of exercise you do and more about HOW you perform that exercise. Almost any kind of exercise will work provided that you can perform it intensely. Walking won't do it; it's just not intense enough. Intensity, or how hard you work, is the key variable in making exercise beneficial, not only from a cholesterol lowering standpoint, but in general. With the main variables being frequency (how often), duration (how long), and intensity, how hard you work absolutely has the most impact on results, and lowering cholesterol is no different!


There are still a lot of unanswered questions when it comes to lowering cholesterol through exercise, but the consistent variable is intensity. The harder you work during your exercise, the more of an impact it has on lowering bad cholesterol, your LDLs, or Low-Density Lipo-Proteins. Intense exercise also has a dramatic effect on HDLs or the good cholesterol. HDL's (High-Density Lipo-Proteins) will often go up as we add up the days of intense exercise, which is good. As that good cholesterol goes up, the ratio of good to bad cholesterol greatly improves, which is even more important than just the total cholesterol number. Speak to your doctor more about cholesterol and cholesterol ratios if you have any more questions.


I'd be remiss in not mentioning the impact that good nutrition will have on cholesterol numbers. Eating correctly will have a much greater impact on cholesterol than exercise ever will, so be sure you get that right too.


So whether it's running, cycling, swimming, strength training, yoga, etc... Remember, it doesn't matter. It's HOW you perform these activities that has the most impact on cholesterol, so work hard… and watch your cholesterol come down, without the help of Lipitor.