The Exercise-Cholesterol Link
The people who exercised vigorously also raised their levels of high-density lipoprotein HDL -- the "good" kind of lipoprotein that actually helps clear cholesterol from the blood. First, exercise stimulates enzymes that help move LDL from the blood and blood-vessel walls to the liver. But recent studies have more carefully examined the effect of exercise alone, making it easier to evaluate the relationship between exercise and cholesterol. The most effective exercises are the ones you do regularly. It may also be easier to contract the muscles for just two or three seconds at first.
What Are Kegel Exercises for Men?
It's important not to contract other muscles. Some men need biofeedback to help them target the right muscles. It may also be easier to contract the muscles for just two or three seconds at first. That puts more weight on the muscles, boosting your workout and improving your control. Seeing results with any exercise takes time, so be patient.
If you do Kegels three times a day, you should see better bladder control in three to six weeks -- some men see it even sooner. Try keeping a record of your urine leakage each day to help you notice improvements. Give your doctor or urologist a call. They can offer tips on how to find and successfully exercise the right muscles.
The most effective exercises are the ones you do regularly. To help you get into the rhythm of doing Kegels, try these simple tips:. To help you get into the rhythm of doing Kegels, try these simple tips: Do your Kegel exercises at the same time each day -- maybe first thing in the morning while you are urinating, while brushing your teeth , and as you watch TV.
From there, the cholesterol is converted into bile for digestion or excreted. So the more you exercise, the more LDL your body expels. Second, exercise increases the size of the protein particles that carry cholesterol through the blood. The combination of protein particles and cholesterol are called "lipoproteins;" it's the LDLs that have been linked to heart disease.
Some of those particles are small and dense; some are big and fluffy. Exactly how much exercise is needed to lower cholesterol has been a matter of some debate.
In general, most public health organizations recommend, at a minimum, 30 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous exercise , such as walking, jogging , biking, or gardening. But a study by researchers at Duke University Medical Center found that more intense exercise is actually better than moderate exercise for lowering cholesterol.
In a study of overweight , sedentary people who did not change their diet, the researchers found that those who got moderate exercise the equivalent of 12 miles of walking or jogging per week did lower their LDL level somewhat. But the people who did more vigorous exercise the equivalent of 20 miles of jogging a week lowered it even more.
The people who exercised vigorously also raised their levels of high-density lipoprotein HDL -- the "good" kind of lipoprotein that actually helps clear cholesterol from the blood. According to Kraus's findings, however, even though moderate exercise was not as effective in reducing LDL or increasing HDL, it did keep cholesterol levels from rising.
Just how much of an effect exercise has on cholesterol is also a matter of debate. If you haven't been exercising regularly already, it's important to start slowly.
Be sure to check in with your doctor, so that he or she can evaluate your current cardiovascular health. This could mean blood tests or a treadmill test to see how your heart reacts when you exercise.
Of course, exercise alone won't guarantee a low cholesterol level. Genetics, weight, age, gender, and diet all contribute to an individual's cholesterol profile. The most effective way to ensure a healthy cholesterol level is to modify your diet and, if need be, take cholesterol-lowering medications. But exercise has many advantages beyond lowering cholesterol. Exercise has been shown to keep bones strong, reduce the risk of cancer , diabetes , stroke , and obesity, and to improve mood.
The Exercise-Cholesterol Link Researchers aren't entirely sure how exercise lowers cholesterol , but they are beginning to have a clearer idea.