or high cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease. High levels of blood cholesterol contribute to
and continued damage or blockage of blood vessels.
are sometimes effective in decreasing cholesterol blood levels. Improvement in cholesterol includes decreasing overall cholesterol and increasing high density lipoproteins (HDL) or good cholesterol levels.
Researchers at the University of West of England tested the current physical activity guidelines in its ability to improve cholesterol levels in men with current high cholesterol. The study, published in
Preventative Medicine, found that the home program made significant changes in total cholesterol/HDL ratio and weight.
Researchers recruited 67 men with high cholesterol. The men were
assigned to one of two groups. A
received standard treatment. The trial group was assigned 12 weeks of brisk walking that would use at least 300 kcal each walk.
and weight were taken at the start and end of the trial. At the end of the 12 weeks:
- Total cholesterol/HDL ratio was significantly lower in the trial group.
- The trial group lost more weight.
- A decrease in triglycerides and an increase in HDLs in the trial group was found to be only borderline significant.
There was a 97.6% compliance rate in the walking group.
Lack of physical activity is a known risk factor for heart disease. The short-term activity program followed here did show some benefit to improving cholesterol scores. The high compliance rate indicates that a basic
may be easy to manage.
Develop a plan with your doctor to manage your cholesterol levels. Add preventative steps to keep your cholesterol at desired levels. Lifestyle changes may include:
that decreases the levels of
and cholesterol and increases special fats that improve good cholesterol (HDL)
- Participating in regular physical activity
Coghill N, Cooper AR. The effect of a home-based walking program on risk factors for coronary heart disease in hypercholesterolaemic men. A randomized controlled trial.
Prev Med. 2008 Jun;46(6):545-51.
Last reviewed November 2008 by Larissa J. Lucas, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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