Lower Cholesterol With Physical Activity

Cholesterol Values

What are the optimal cholesterol values? Blood cholesterol levels should remain within these thresholds. Here there is:

  1. Total cholesterol: ≤ 200 mg / dl
  2. HDL cholesterol: ≥ 50 mg / dL
  3. LDL cholesterol:
    1. ≤ 160 mg/dl in people with no cardiovascular risk
    2. ≤ 130 mg/dl in people with low cardiovascular risk
    3. ≤ 100 mg/dl in people with a high cardiovascular risk
    4. ≤ 70 mg / dL in people who have already had a cardiovascular event

Diet For High Cholesterol

Observing a balanced diet is essential if you have high cholesterol ( hypercholesterolemia ). This does not mean that there are “prohibited” foods. Still, foods must be consumed in moderation and others only occasionally to respect the maximum daily cholesterol intake, equal to 300 mg. A specification should be made about milk and derivatives, often eliminated from the diet as they are commonly thought to raise cholesterol. If we stop milk and dairy products, we give up the most important dietary source of calcium and essential proteins and vitamins. 

To not give up the benefits of milk and dairy products, we must make the right choices, thus preferring milk, yogurt, and cheeses rich in proteins with a high biological value. Therefore, this cheese is naturally lactose-free, suitable for those who do not digest milk sugar. It also provides good proteins that include the nine essential amino acids and branches, which are very useful in sports because they provide the “bricks” used to repair muscle fibers damaged by wear. Grana Padano PDO is the cheese that provides the most significant amount of highly bioavailable calcium among all those commonly consumed. 

It also contains essential vitamins such as B2 and B12 and antioxidants such as vitamin A, zinc, and selenium. Given its nutritional characteristics, it can be inserted, in the right quantities and frequencies, in the varied and balanced diet of people suffering from hypercholesterolemia. Following a diet that controls calories and favors the right foods is often not enough to fight high cholesterol, especially for those who suffer due to genetic predisposition, which can naturally promote increased cholesterol levels. 

Remember that this fat is primarily produced (about 80%). But there is another crucial element that strongly affects cholesterol: physical activity. Science claims that exercising regularly can promote increased HDL cholesterol (the “good” one) in the blood. Adding an extra 10 minutes of action to our daily exercise could increase our good cholesterol concentration by 1.4 mg/dl.

The increase in HDL promotes cholesterol transport from the tissues and arteries to the liver. For these and other reasons, exercise is a great ally to counteract high cholesterol and ]protect our cardiovascular health. However, it must be said that not all exercises are equally helpful if the goal is to lower cholesterol levels. What and how much physical activity should we do?

  1. It is good to prefer aerobic activities to improve the cardiac and respiratory response through constant training. Greenlight, therefore, for activities with moderate intensity and suitable for everyone’s training (you must never exaggerate!): Long walks, running or jogging, cycling, swimming, gentle gymnastics, dancing, cross-country skiing, exercise bikes, or treadmills.
  2. It is good to practice at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week, an optimal 300 minutes, burning a minimum of 900 calories. Trained individuals can also do 75 minutes of intense aerobic physical activity per week, dividing training sessions equally over the seven days.

It is an excellent rule to maintain an active lifestyle every day to lower cholesterol. For example, it is good to go on foot or by bicycle or take the stairs instead of taking the elevator to make short trips. In addition to carrying out the aerobic activity, exercises aimed at muscle strengthening ( anaerobic), performed with free body or with weights, which involve large muscle groups, also in circuit mode, are also helpful. 

Circuit Exercises

Three “turns” (i.e., three sets or repetitions) must be performed for each exercise listed below, i.e., the whole series of circuit exercises must be repeated three times. It is advisable to have a mat, and while performing the exercises, you must keep a stopwatch at hand because each activity must be carried out for 20 seconds, followed by another 20 seconds of recovery before starting the next exercise (e.g., 20 seconds of bird -dog exercise – 20 seconds of recovery – 20 seconds of squats – 20 seconds of recovery, etc. until you have completed all the activities in the circuit). At the end of each complete set of exercises, you need to do 2 minutes of recovery before starting the new series (new round).

Bird-Dog Exercise

Stand on all fours (quadrupedal), with your knees shoulder-width apart. Extend the opposite leg and arm simultaneously and concentrate on the pressure of the support points (knee and hand). Then, possibly without placing your hand and knee on the ground, try to make the opposite elbow and knee touch at the navel level—alternate lifts: first right arm and left leg and vice versa. Control movement and maintain abdominal and gluteal firmness. Repeat the exercise for 20 seconds.

Common Mistakes And Fixes 

Excessive back extension. By arching the back too much, there will be a decrease in the contraction of the buttocks, so try to keep the abdomen contracted to avoid excessive arching of the back and consequent musculoskeletal pain. Take a 20-second break before the next exercise.


From an upright position, put your feet shoulder-width apart, bring your buttocks out, inhale and block the air in your abdomen, which must remain firm and firm for the duration of the movement. Begin the descent by bringing your glutes back, as if you were sitting down but keeping your torso straight. 

Get to the lowest point you can reach, then begin the thrust to rise back to the initial standing position. You should feel the push in the middle of the foot and feel the thighs and buttocks working. The ideal is to make the descent in 2 seconds and the ascent in another 2 seconds. Repeat the exercise for 20 seconds.

Common Errors And Fixes 

  1. the heel that rises when the descent begins> spread the legs more (about 2 feet more).
  2. Knees going in when climbing> when you go up, think about pushing your knees out.
  3. Kyphosis (hump) that forms in the lower back> keep your chest up and think you have the neck of a giraffe.
  4. Squat down shallow (don’t go down far enough)> place a chair behind you and lean back every time you go down.

To Intensify The Exercise

Choose a weight (e.g., water bottle) to hold with your arms straight when you get off. Take a 20-second break before the next exercise.

Pushups On The Arms

Lie on your stomach with your hands shoulder-width apart and your thumbs at the height of your nipples. Flex your legs and create a 90 ° angle at the knee, keeping the knees firmly on the ground. Inhale and forcefully, push yourself off the ground using your hands and knees. As you go, exhale and keep your glutes contracted in line with your torso. When your arms are straight, return to the starting position, control the descent, and inhale. The ideal would be to take 1 second for the push and 2 seconds for the drop. Repeat the exercise for 20 seconds.

To Simplify The Exercise

Put a raise under your hands: the higher it is, the easier it will be to perform the push up. This exercise is also suitable for those over 65.

To Intensify The Exercise

Do straight-leg pushups with feet together, rather than resting on your knees.

Common Mistakes And Corrections

Hands too far apart, elbows that open outwards during the push, a chest that does not come into contact with the ground, buttocks that push up to reduce weight. In these cases, try to keep the elbows closed, in touch with the torso, the buttocks constantly contracted, and think about pivoting on the knee. Take a 20-second break before the next exercise.

Alternating Superman Hold

Lie on your stomach with your arms and legs straight. Extend alternately, up and down, arm and leg in opposition. The idea would be to take 2 seconds for the ascent and 2 seconds for the descent. Repeat the exercise for 20 seconds.

Common Errors And Fixes

  1. Apply too much force with the limbs resting on the ground> the contraction force must derive from the limbs performing the extension.
  2. Excessive extension of the neck looking upwards> the gaze should be straight towards the floor, focusing on the movement of the arm and not the neck.
  3. Excessive back extension> arching the back too much will decrease the contraction of the buttocks. Try to keep the abdomen contracted to avoid excessive arching of the back. Take a 20-second break before the next exercise.


Similar Articles