3 Big Benefits of Exercise

Learn the huge heart benefits you can quickly gain from a little fitness.

3 Big Benefits of Exercise

Your doctor has probably coached you on the importance of a smart diet to manage your cholesterol. But physical activity is another important piece of the puzzle. One study found that daily exercise—combined with a high-fiber, low-fat diet—can help improve cholesterol levels in just three weeks.

Regular workouts enhance your cholesterol numbers in three main ways:

  • Boosts beneficial HDL cholesterol. Swimming, cycling, walking or other types of aerobic exercise—the kind that raises your heart rate—elevates your HDL level.
  • Knocks down triglycerides. Are your triglyceride levels high, too? Moderate-intensity exercise can help bring them down.
  • Trims bad LDL cholesterol. Aerobic workouts combined with diet tweaks and weight loss may help keep harmful LDL cholesterol in check.

Starting a new exercise program can seem daunting. But with a few tricks and an open mind, you might be surprised how much you love feeling fit—and seeing those cholesterol numbers go down!

Medically reviewed in August 2018.

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