High cholesterol is a problem that affects about 18.4 million people in Pak alone and, when not properly treated, can cause a series of problems, such as cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, strokes, etc.
Therefore, the best thing is to prevent and, for that, the practice of physical activities is essential.
Read on and learn all about how to avoid this health problem!
First of all, what is high cholesterol?
Cholesterol itself, when in ideal amounts, is very beneficial for the body, being a structural component of cell membranes and being present in various organs, such as the heart, liver, brain, muscles, nerves, intestines and skin. It is used by the human body for the production of some hormones, such as vitamin D, estrogen, testosterone, cortisol and some bile acids that help in the digestion of fats.
Its production takes place by 70% of the body itself (in the liver) and another 30% from food. Therefore, if you do not maintain a healthy diet, eating a lot of fat, your liver may end up producing more than necessary, causing high cholesterol.
This condition is harmful to the body, since, as cholesterol circulates in the blood, as its amount increases, it can start to clog the arteries and cause various diseases.
What causes high cholesterol?
The causes for this problem depend on genetics, diet, physical exercise and, as previously mentioned, the lifestyle that the individual leads. Check out the main risk factors:
1- Family history
Having a relative with a history of high cholesterol is one of the main risk factors for its occurrence, and it is necessary to take action since childhood to prevent this problem from occurring in the future.
Because smoking damages artery walls, it makes them more susceptible to the accumulation of high LDL cholesterol.
Those who have a diet rich in fats, both saturated and trans, and sugars, have a greater risk of suffering from high lipids.
4- Obesity and not practicing physical activities
Obese people who do not practice physical activity are the most susceptible to suffer from cholesterol imbalance.
In addition to these, there are other factors such as the exacerbated use of alcoholic beverages, cirrhosis, hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, renal failure and use of anabolic steroids, which can also lead to this occurrence and, consequently, all the problems and diseases caused by this condition.
What are the symptoms of high cholesterol?
Contrary to what many people think, there are no symptoms, so the only way to know that you have the problem is with blood tests. The person may experience chest pain, shortness of breath or even some palpitations, but this may be more related to the illnesses caused by it.
High cholesterol: what is the importance of physical activities?
Practicing physical exercises is essential for controlling blood cholesterol, lowering bad cholesterol levels and increasing good cholesterol, responsible for producing the hormones mentioned above.
This happens because, when moving, the body stimulates the production of lipase, an enzyme responsible for preventing the accumulation of fat in the arterial walls.
High cholesterol: what are the best exercises to lower your levels?
Now that you know how it works and know what is good for cholesterol, it’s time to find out which physical activities are best to bring about a decrease in your levels. Check out:
1- Swimming and water aerobics
If you, in addition to not having your cholesterol under control, are also overweight, these two options may be the best for you. In addition to lowering cholesterol levels and helping with weight loss, swimming and hydrogymnastics promote a series of benefits, such as improving the respiratory system and strengthening joints and increasing caloric burning, for example.
The ease of practicing this physical activity is, without a doubt, its main advantage. Walk outside at least four times a week (ACSM recommends 150 minutes of activity per week) or visit a gym to do a treadmill and you’ll see your cholesterol levels drop!
The spinning class is an aerobic activity that simulates indoor cycling at high intensities. It is one of the exercises that are in demand for those who want to reduce cholesterol, as its effects are faster and promote countless other benefits for the human body.
Bodybuilding is one of the most practiced physical activities in the world and is also one of the most recommended for those who want to control cholesterol. In addition, it is excellent for those who also want to tone their body and improve physical conditioning.
5- Functional training
Anyone who wants to lower cholesterol levels can also try to practice functional training . With its multiple exercises and focus on weight loss, a functional training routine can accelerate the production of lipases in your body and prevent the accumulation of fat in the arteries very quickly.