Previous studies have found that exercise can improve good (HDL) cholesterol levels. This is one of the first studies to find a link between exercise and significant lowering of bad (LDL) cholesterol in women. This study did not find a benefit in men and this needs to be evaluated further. Almost 9,000 sedentary middle-aged adults were followed in this 9 year study which was published in The Journal of Lipid Research (August 2009).
Women who did as little as one hour a week of moderate physical activity (like taking a brisk walk) or 30 minutes of vigorous activity a week had a decrease in their bad (LDL) cholesterol levels.
White women had a 4 mg/dl decrease in LDL cholesterol
African American women had a 10 mg/dl decrease in their LDL cholesterol
Postmenopausal women had an even greater benefit.
Postmenopausal white women had a 5.9 mg/dl decrease in LDL cholesterol
Postmenopausal African American women had a 14.7 mg/dl decrease in LDL cholesterol
Now we can all fit 1 hour a week of exercise into our busy schedule. Your Heart with Thank You!!
“Take Charge: A Woman’s Guide to a Healthier Heart” discusses how women can help control their cholesterol and other risk factors to prevent a heart attack, stroke and diabetes. “Take Charge: A Man’s Roadmap to a Healthier Heart” is due to be released Fall 2009. For more info visit www.heart-strong.com