Which is? What are you doing? How to lower cholesterol? Can I train? There are many questions involving cholesterol and physical activity , we will try to answer some.
Cholesterol is a particle of fat that circulates through our body linked to protein particles that the body needs to perform various activities, such as the production of new cells.
Triglycerides or triglycerides are a type of fat that circulates in the bloodstream. It is produced in the liver and carried by the blood.
Triglyceride levels increase in our blood when we eat fatty foods and especially carbohydrates (such as sugar and processed foods) and their excess causes the concentration of HDL (good cholesterol) to decrease and raise the concentration of LDL (bad cholesterol) ) thereby increasing the risk of heart disease.
These levels are identified by blood test (which must be done on an empty stomach ) and can be considered high when the values are above 200 mg / dL.
What causes high cholesterol?
What can contribute to the change in the level of triglycerides in our body are some of the factors below:
– obesity ;
– uncontrolled diabetes ;
– kidney disease;
– eating more calories regularly than you spend;
– excess of alcoholic beverages ;
– sedentary lifestyle;
It is clear that in order to prevent and treat high cholesterol you need to eliminate and / or treat these factors, but you have a big card in hand to resolve the issue of how to lower cholesterol.
The relationship between cholesterol and physical activity
Physical exercise protects the heart, tightens muscles, increases fitness and helps control cholesterol, lowering LDL levels – the bad cholesterol – and increasing HDL – the good cholesterol.
This is because physical activity increases the production of enzymes and one of them, lipoprotein lipase, also known as LPL – located in the walls of blood vessels, in the heart, in fat deposits and in muscles – destroys triglycerides and, due to the increase circulation and increased blood flow, prevents fats from accumulating on the artery walls.
The best exercise will be the one that gives you pleasure. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 30 minutes of physical activity, practiced on the largest number of days per week, always reserving at least one for rest. This time can be split over the course of the day, like three 10-minute sequences.
The accompaniment of a sports specialist is recommended to guide you about the intensity, rest and food to ensure safety and whatever the objective that motivated the beginning of the practice of physical activities – weight loss, leaving the sedentary lifestyle or improving the levels of cholesterol – the first step is to have a check up at the doctor.
In general, a lot of exercise is needed to improve the level of cholesterol and triglycerides. A sedentary person will need to exercise the equivalent of a weekly run or brisk walk of 13 to 16 km (4 km / day in 4 days in a week of 7 days). The more kilometers per week, the greater the drop in cholesterol.
The effect of exercise can be measured between twelve weeks and six months, that is, it is a long way, but much more than a treatment it is a new lifestyle, much healthier.
Food is directly associated with effective treatment to control blood triglyceride levels.
How to lower cholesterol?
– Avoid excessive consumption of simple carbohydrates such as sugar, honey, marmalade, sweets in syrup and sweets in general;
– Control the consumption of complex carbohydrates such as pasta, potatoes, breads and cookies;
– Avoid fried foods and fatty foods;
– Alcoholic beverages increase the blood triglyceride level, therefore, avoid the consumption of alcoholic beverages;
– Increase the consumption of fiber and whole foods: they help to reduce blood cholesterol levels;
– Fruits and vegetables have fibers that help to decrease the absorption of fats in the blood;
– Increase the consumption of omega-3 source foods, found in deep and cold water fish (salmon, tuna, cod, herring, mackerel, sardines, trout) and in lower concentrations in soy, nuts and canola oil. Omega-3 is a great ally in reducing triglyceride levels;
– As previously explained, physical activity is an excellent ally in reducing triglycerides and increasing HDL (good cholesterol).
Although very efficient and indispensable in many cases, the drugs are unable to increase the levels of good cholesterol (HDL) with the same efficiency as aerobic training , if they are practiced regularly as soon as the imbalance is detected.
The accompaniment of a doctor and a trainer can help to obtain more efficient results remembering the points in which it is worth keeping an eye on: regularity, intensity (high intensity is not indicated) and duration.
Physical activity and healthy eating make cholesterol less dangerous. Even the simplest exercise can change the size and density of the proteins that transport cholesterol and the benefits occur even if the person remains with the same blood levels.