Exercise plays an important role in helping improve your cholesterol levels. Being physically active is a great way to help manage cholesterol levels, including your good cholesterol (HDL), bad cholesterol (LDL) and your Cholesterol Ratio.
HDL is considered good because it transports the "bad" or LDL cholesterol to the liver, where it may be broken down and excreted by the body. If the LDL cholesterol isn't carried away by the HDL, it can cause a build up in your artery walls – this is also called plaque.
When managing cholesterol, the Cholesterol Ratio – the relationship between total cholesterol (TC) and good cholesterol (HDL) in the body - is among the best predictors of long-term cardiovascular risk.
30 minutes of daily exercise may seem like a daunting task, especially for those who don't have the tools to get started. It's not as hard as you think. Consider integrating these simple activities into your daily routine:
- Stand or walk around your house while talking on the telephone.
- Get off the bus a few blocks early and walk the rest of the way to your destination.
- Take the stairs at work instead of the elevator.
- Use your lunch hour to take a walk around the block. People who exercise during the day are more productive and have better levels of concentration.
- Put light weights on your ankles while cleaning the house.
- Use a pedometer to monitor how many steps you take. Challenge yourself everyday to beat what you achieved the day prior.
- Get active while watching television. Try leg lunges, squats or abdominal crunches.
- Join a sports league.
- Park as far away as possible and walk to the entrance of the grocery store, bank, mall, etc.
- Get an exercise buddy.
More tips on getting active and information about the Cholesterol Ratio is available online at www.knowyourratio.ca or by talking to your doctor.