Exercise and cholesterol are words that are very common and don’t have to be scary when we hear them. The bad cholesterol is called LDL and the good cholesterol is called HDL. When people have high cholesterol their LDL (bad) is high and their HDL (good) is low. Eating healthy, regular exercise and drinking plenty of water will help to bring down cholesterol levels within 2-3 weeks. Here are some fun ideas to help lower the bad cholesterol and raise the good cholesterol.

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Exercise

Exercise can be fun and is very beneficial to lowering cholesterol. It is recommended to moderately exercise 30 minutes a day 5 times a week or vigorously exercise 20 minutes a day 3 times a week. Walking is a very good exercise to help not only with lowering cholesterol but it also helps to lower blood pressure. Try taking walks around your neighborhood or find a walking path nearby, like the Be Well Path at Windom Area Health.  I like to go for hikes around state parks because they have different sights to see and lots of wildlife to look for while walking.

Water

Drinking plenty of water will help decrease heart disease and make sure blood keeps moving to clean and eliminate buildup of cholesterol waste from the body.

It’s hard to only drink water all the time but here are a few things you could try to help lower cholesterol:

*Drinking green tea either hot or cold                                                                     *Cranberry juice

*Fruit smoothies made with almond milk and a handful of spinach            *Lemon infused water

Apple cider vinegar is also very beneficial because the acid in the vinegar helps lower the LDL. Try putting 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into orange juice and if you don’t mind the flavor of apple cider vinegar you could just add vinegar to water or mix with olive oil to make a salad dressing.

Veggies

Asparagus is a great veggie to clean out the arteries. Avocados help lower LDL and increase HDL to clean up the arteries. Other foods that are great to eat to help lower cholesterol are raw or cooked broccoli, fish, eggplants, nuts (instead of chips), oatmeal, and using olive oil when cooking (instead of butter). Eggs are good to eat but if you don’t want the cholesterol eat only the egg whites which have no cholesterol.

To reduce cholesterol from the diet don’t eat fried foods, processed foods, fast food, and refined sugars. Try eating more soluble fiber, fruits, veggies, make healthy foods made at home and making yummy smoothies. Try eating new fruits and veggies that you may not have had before or for a long time. When eating veggies have a rainbow of colors to choose from. It helps to dress up the plate and makes it more appealing to the eyes.

Exercising 3-5 times a week and eating right is hard to do, but don’t give up. I found this quote and thought it was very fitting:  “When you feel like quitting, think about why you started. – Unknown.” We all have busy schedules and never seem to find time to exercise but here is another quote that might help:  “Don’t find the time, make the time. – Unknown.”

Exercise and drink more water to help lower cholesterol!

Blog Written By: Dixie Duerksen, Medical Laboratory Technician

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