How long should I exercise daily to increase my HDL or “good” cholesterol?

A quick, 30-minute walk each day is all you need to increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or "good" cholesterol by 9 percent. Can't squeeze in a daily walk? Then shoot for 30 to 45 minutes of higher-intensity aerobic exercise two to three times a week. That more condensed regimen will increase your HDL up to 5 points. Not bad, since every 1-point jump in HDL drops your risk for cardiovascular disease by 3 percent.

Studies suggest that engaging in 30-60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity most days of the week can improve your cholesterol profile and raise your HDL or “good” cholesterol levels. Examples of moderate activity would include a walk, going for a hike, gardening, cleaning the house. Examples of vigorous activity would be running 3-4 miles. A hike up a steep mountain, a heavy weight lifting workout. If you engage in one or both  forms of activity for 30-60 minutes a day you can raise your HDL levels. The longer you train and the more intense the activity the greater the rise in HDL that is typically seen.
Emilia Klapp
Nutrition & Dietetics
A study from the Heart Institute in India found that a 60-minute walk daily was associated with increased HDL cholesterol in patients who had had a heart attack. But even 30 minutes of activity daily can be beneficial. For instance, research from the University of Connecticut has found that 30 minutes or more of continuous or accumulated physical activity can lower blood pressure.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.