Bad cholesterol can be lowered naturally through exercises like planks and daily workouts. The researchers at UCLA tested whether men who weight trained would have healthier HDL than men who lived a sedentary lifestyle. The researchers found that men who did not exercise were more likely to have dysfunctional HDL, compared to the men who did exercise.
Making some changes to your lifestyle can go a long way for helping reduce cholesterol and keep you off cholesterol-lowering medications or make those medications work more effectively. You’ve likely heard that extra weight contributes to high cholesterol, so even dropping as little as five to 10 percent of your body weight can reduce your cholesterol levels. Shedding pounds comes down to a healthy eating plan and regular exercise.
Plank Exercise Benefits to Lower Cholesterol
Activity, in fact, is a key factor when it comes to cholesterol management, regardless of whether you’re carrying extra weight or not. One surprising and popular exercise fix is following a plank exercise routine. Popular in yoga sun salutations, planks engage your body core when you’re raised resting on the balls of your feet and forearms, parallel to the floor. Now hold!
If you stick to a plank exercise routine, you can reap all the sought-after health benefits – which include lowering cholesterol levels.
You might not think a plank exercise routine will make you break a sweat or get your heart rate up, but just give it a try first.
What do planks do for your body? They help you build strength in your core, both your upper and lower body, so they’re an effective full-body workout. A plank exercise routine will also improve your flexibility by stretching muscles and will improve your posture if you do it regularly. You’ll achieve a toned belly, too, and help lower your cholesterol.
All you need is determination and a bit of space. For the uninitiated, here’s how to plank:
- Get into a press-up position, as if you were going to do a push-up.
- Bend your elbows and rest your weight onto your forearms, not on your hands.
- Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to ankles.
- Engage your core by sucking your belly button into your spine.
- Hold this position for the prescribed time. Start with 10 seconds and work your way up to five minutes or more. Repeat and repeat.
Other Cholesterol Lowering Exercises
- Brisk walking: Get out there and start pumping your arms while you walk.
- Bicycling: Haven’t got on a bike in years? It’s easier than you think and will bring out your inner kid. Try a path in a park or conservation area and enjoy the scenery.
- Jogging: The impact of light jogging is great to build strong bones too. Start with a two minute walk, then run for one minute. Continue alternating as you work up to a steady jogging pace.
- Tennis: Andre Agassi won’t be watching, so ease into the game and join a tennis club or find a willing partner and have fun.
- Swimming: Swimming is a great exercise for those who suffer with joint pain because it’s low impact but still offers enough of a challenge and resistance to be a good workout. Swimming is associated with improved fat distribution in the body and lower LDL cholesterol.
- Light weightlifting: Studies have shown that among people who incorporate resistance training into their routine, their bodies remove LDL cholesterol faster than those who do not. Weightlifting has also been shown to improve the heart as it is a muscle.
- Yoga: Yoga helps reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and helps to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Housework, gardening, and taking the stairs also gives you cardiovascular benefits if they’re done on a regular basis.
The point is, you need to choose activities that you can easily fit into your lifestyle. If you can’t make them happen or don’t enjoy them, you won’t make them a habit. Which brings us to plank exercise benefits. You can do it anywhere, without any equipment or a drill sergeant calling you out if you drop down in fatigue (although that can be motivating!). Planking is versatile and effective.
How Can Exercise Work to Lower Bad Cholesterol?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says when it comes to cholesterol, even moderate-intensity aerobic activity – exercises that raise your heart rate – for just two and a half hours each week fights high cholesterol and reduces your chances of heart disease. The problem is, Americans aren’t doing enough. Estimates suggest only three out of every 10 adults get enough exercise to achieve these heart-health benefits.
Even moderate physical activity can help raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol. Activity helps to lower your levels of triglycerides, a kind of fat carried in the bloodstream. People who exercise regularly typically have a lower body fat ratio (a good thing!), which is associated with lower cholesterol and triglycerides. You should start to see improvement in your cholesterol levels within a month of beginning a fitness program.
Your body needs exercise to function properly, so it makes sense that it has a significant effect on cholesterol levels. You want to work up to at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. But you don’t have to complete the 30 minutes all at once.
Even 10-minute intervals several times a day, with a plank exercise routine for one of those segments, can help you start to lose weight. The main goal is to stick to it. You want to be sure that you can keep up the changes you decide to make.
Keep exercise in mind when you set to lower your cholesterol. When you eat fresh whole foods and get your heart rate up for a regular workout and a plank exercise routine, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goals.
Tips to Consider While Exercising
There are some important tips to consider before engaging in or even during exercise. They include:
- Staying well hydrated
- Wearing comfortable clothing and proper footwear
- Try to exercise at the same time daily to keep with a routine
- Avoid exercising immediately after a meal, during high humidity, or if you do not feel well
- Get a buddy to exercise with to motivate each other
- Switch up your exercises to keep things interesting and prevent boredom
- Try to boost your level of activity throughout the day by parking further, using the stairs, or taking time to leave your desk more
By keeping these tips in mind, you will find that you adhere to a exercise routine and enjoy it.
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