Can Exercises to Lower Cholesterol Level?

Alpa Momaya

December 12, 2022

One of the fatty substances that circulate in our blood is cholesterol. In excess, it can cling to the inner lining of arteries, narrowing them and raising the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, other factors outside blood cholesterol levels also influence this risk. 

One of these is the protein that transports cholesterol through the body. Problems are more likely to arise when low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is present. The body is guarded against cholesterol buildup by high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

According to studies, physical activity helps raise HDL levels, a beneficial kind of cholesterol. For example, women who lead a physically active lifestyle have noticeably greater HDL cholesterol levels than women who have a sedentary lifestyle. In addition, regular endurance training raised HDL levels in men with belly fat.

It would help if you had a support system at times to start exercising. But, first, it helps get into a routine. HealthifyPRO 2.0, a leading health and wellness-based platform, uses a combination of AI and personalised coaching involving nutrition and exercise. The plans include thoroughly studying your metabolic health through extensive testing criteria and parameters. 

HealthifyPro 2.0 also uses the concept of understanding your body’s reaction to food and activity levels by studying real-time blood glucose levels. Again, a CGM makes it possible. The data is collected over a period and becomes the basis for making dietary and lifestyle modifications. Exercise and food intake go hand in hand to reverse or arrest metabolic conditions and prevent obesity. 

Types of Cholesterol

The three main types of cholesterol include:

LDL Cholesterol

LDL cholesterol is known as “bad cholesterol”. Also, one’s health depends on LDL’s ability to carry cholesterol to their cells. However, a clear correlation exists between having too much LDL in your blood and a higher risk of heart disease.

Read more: LDL Cholesterol: Why Should You Be Concerned?

High LDL levels might cause fat deposits in your arteries (cholesterol plaque). This process causes blood arteries to constrict and occasionally block (atherosclerosis). As a result, it impacts your blood flow, which increases your risk of high blood pressure (angina) and possibly a heart attack.

You should make several changes to your lifestyle if your LDL levels are high and to help bring them down. LDL, however, is just one of the numerous elements that go into the onset of heart disease.

Read more: How to Reduce LDL Cholesterol Levels?

HDL Cholesterol

The term good cholesterol frequently refers to HDL cholesterol. It is due to HDL’s role in transporting LDL cholesterol from your arteries back to your liver for elimination from your body.

Read more: What is HDL Cholesterol? A Detailed Guide

This procedure prevents plaque from accumulating on the artery walls, reducing heart disease risk. Conversely, if your HDL levels are too low, it may increase your risk of heart disease.

VLDL Cholesterol

The liver produces VLDL cholesterol. VLDL transports triglycerides to your blood, where your body either stores them or utilises them as fuel. VLDL cholesterol has a similar association to LDL cholesterol with the development of arterial plaque.9

Can Exercise Lower Cholesterol? 

Exercise can lower and improve your total cholesterol levels in two fundamental ways. First, studies have shown that exercise raises HDL cholesterol. According to studies, people who exercised consistently over an extended period had higher HDL levels than those who did not exercise.

Regular exercise may also enhance HDL’s antioxidative and anti-inflammatory capabilities in addition to being a helpful therapy for raising HDL levels. In other words, exercise can improve HDL’s capacity to aid the body’s defence against several chronic diseases.

You can also keep a healthy body weight by exercising. For example, those who are obese or overweight can lower LDL cholesterol levels by losing weight. In fact, by decreasing merely 5 to 10 percent of your body weight, one can reduce triglyceride, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol levels.

Types of Exercise and Their Effects on Cholesterol

As per the coaches at HealthifyMe, while both strength and aerobic training workouts can improve cardiovascular health, a mix is ideal. Some of the best exercises to lower cholesterol naturally include:

  • Walking
  • Jogging/running
  • Biking
  • Swimming
  • Lifting weights
  • Yoga

Walking, Jogging, or Running

Running, jogging, and other forms of cardio are excellent for reducing triglycerides and cholesterol. To observe the effects, one must strive to exercise for at least 150 minutes per week while jogging, running, or walking at a moderate pace. Your option will depend on your strength and joint health, but all are advantageous. 

According to a recent study, the quantity of exercise, not the kind, was significant. People who exercised with the same effort, irrespective of walking or running, received identical advantages. For example, the scientists found that running three miles would require as much energy as 4.3 miles of brisk walking.


Despite being better on your joints, cycling uses about the same energy as jogging. So you can pick cycling over running if you have joint problems.

To lower cholesterol, try using a stationary exercise bike. Researchers found that those who rode bikes to work had a lower risk of elevated cholesterol than those who did not.

Swimming and Water Exercises

Swimming, water walking, and participating in water sports can all lower your cholesterol, similarly to other cardiovascular exercises, while also being gentle on your joints.

Weight Lifting

Lifting weights or engaging in other resistance exercises such as resistance bands or even your body weight can be beneficial. However, it is even more effective when incorporated into a routine that includes an aerobic activity.


Studies have revealed that yoga, while generally a low-intensity exercise, may lower the risk of heart disease and have a favourable impact on cholesterol levels. Regular practitioners notice a noticeable improvement in their blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol. 

Read more: Yoga for Beginners: Poses and Tips to Get Started

Exercising regularly with a combination of aerobic and strength training and switching to a low-cholesterol diet are the two best non-medication ways to drop cholesterol quickly. However, these lifestyle modifications alone can be sufficient for some people.

How Much Exercise Should One Do?

Studies suggest that you strive for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week, or a combination of the two, preferably spread out over the week. In addition, being active for at least 300 minutes (five hours) per week has even more advantages. 

Any exercise is preferable to inactivity, even if it only involves taking the stairs rather than the elevator or going for a stroll. Furthermore, you can break up your activity into shorter sessions throughout the day of 10 or 15 minutes if you find it difficult to exercise for extended amounts of time. As a result, it will still have the same positive effects.

Regular Monitoring

Since the signs of cholesterol problems are generally not very evident, they frequently occur unexpectedly. Consequently, regular cholesterol level monitoring becomes essential. Unfortunately, high cholesterol issues get diagnosed after it is too late to take preventative measures that have had a significant impact.

By routinely monitoring, you can detect cholesterol problems in their early stages. That will enable you to take preventative action, and you can treat the illness by altering your food and way of life.

Children aged five and older should have their cholesterol levels checked every five years. Additionally, check the cholesterol levels of healthy adults every two to three years.

 If your family has a history of high cholesterol, you should check your cholesterol levels more frequently. Additionally, it would help if you spoke with a doctor about the frequency of cholesterol testing to address more specific cases.

Managing Cholesterol like a Pro

One should consult a fitness expert about developing an exercise programme that builds up to a caloric energy expenditure of roughly 1,000 calories per week. It is especially applicable if you have been living a sedentary lifestyle or are overweight.

Until your aerobic endurance increases, keep the intensity of your workouts at a low or moderate level. For example, start working out for 10 to 15 minutes at a time and gradually increase that to 30 minutes, progressively increasing the quantity and intensity over time.

You need to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes wholesome eating and moderate physical activity to avoid problems with cholesterol and other factors.

Healthcare organisations are promoting testing, but we must also work to increase our knowledge and awareness of such widespread healthcare issues. In addition, it is vital to change from a sedentary lifestyle to avoid future cholesterol-related problems and live a healthy, hearty life.

You can benefit by adopting 

  1. a DASH or Mediterranean diet,
  2.  exercising frequently,
  3.  avoiding smoking, 
  4. and maintaining a healthy weight 

You can enhance your health by lowering your cholesterol. To reduce your cholesterol levels, look for healthy lifestyle changes you can include in your daily schedule, such as low-cholesterol meals. To assist you with creating a low-cholesterol food plan, you can speak with a coach at HealthifyMe.

The HealthifyMe Note

Millions of people worldwide are currently dealing with cholesterol-related issues. However, most are unaware that they have a problem or the seriousness of their situation. However, awareness and checkups are necessary as potentially hazardous conditions could have detrimental, if not fatal, long-term effects.


All of these exercises can lower your cholesterol and prevent you from developing cardiovascular disease. You can decide which is ideal depending on your lifestyle, joint health, and general health.

Regular exercise can help lower cholesterol in a person. Walking, jogging, cycling, and swimming can help lower their total and LDL cholesterol levels.

Workouts frequently assist in increasing HDL cholesterol levels in individuals. The most important thing is to engage in weight training twice weekly and at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise daily. Then, add more throughout the day. Finally, get up and move around wherever you are!

About the Author

As the holder of a Post Graduate Diploma in Dietetics from the University of Mumbai, Alpa Momaya has always understood the value of good nutrition in an individual's life. She is a Registered Nutritional Practitioner (Canada) with over 15 years of experience in the field. Specializing in Clinical Nutrition, Pre & Post Natal Diets, and Weight Management, Alpa found her calling as a Sr. Nutritionist with HealthifyMe. Alpa's love for cooking and good nutrition has seen her contribute several recipes to the HealthifyMe database over the years. Additionally, she takes a keen interest in reading and painting.

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