Can exercise reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Exercise is a necessary component in order to avoid and treat high cholesterol. Doctors recommend 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day. If you do not have that long an interval of time, you can get enough exercise from three to six 10 minutes exercise sessions a day.

Emilia Klapp
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

Yes. A study from the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta found that a group of mice that exercised had a lower level of LDL cholesterol and a lower level of artery damage than a group of mice that did not exercise.

Exercise is one of the most effective ways to improve your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease. But how much is enough? You'll want to talk to your doctor about a reasonable exercise goal, given your current medical profile. The good news is that even if you are new to exercise and can only manage a little bit at first, that's probably still good enough to make a difference. In fact, just upping your amount of physical activity each day can help improve your cardiovascular health. But eventually you'll want to work up to a moderate-intensity exercise program. Work with your doctor on determining a reasonable schedule for that.

Dr. Benjamin J. Cohen, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Yes, and exercising to treat high cholesterol is about the same amount as exercising for overall health. In this video, Ben Cohen, MD, a cardiologist at West Hills Hospital, says that moderate exercise four times a week for 30-45 minutes is a good target.

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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.