Best Exercises to Reduce Cholesterol

Best Exercises to Reduce Cholesterol

A high level of LDL cholesterol, also known as the “bad” cholesterol, can be extremely dangerous to your health. This can lead to the development of fatty plaques in arteries and cause them to narrow and even block. Clogged arteries are associated with a high risk of heart attack and stroke. In addition, high cholesterol can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

If you want to keep yourself healthy, you need to reduce your cholesterol level. You can do this by making various lifestyle changes. Embrace a healthy diet, maintain a proper weight, quit smoking, drink less alcohol and, of course, exercise on a constant basis. Exercise in general is great not only for the body, but the mind as well. In this particular case, it can help us improve our cholesterol.

The Direct Effect of Exercise on Cholesterol

Diverse medical studies have shown that working out, in combination with a healthy nutrition and weight loss, can lead to an improvement in cholesterol level. There are also findings showing that exercise alone can have a positive impact on our cholesterol.

According to a research, engaging in endurance exercise on a regular basis can help men with abdominal fat boost their level of HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol). This is backed up by a a different study, which found that women who engage in regular physical activity enjoy a higher level of HDL cholesterol in comparison to sedentary women.

Other findings confirm that physical activity can lead to a visible improvement of the lipoprotein profile. The same research concluded that the improvement is not linked to the intensity of the workout, rather to the amount of activity.


Walking is one of the best exercises to reduce cholesterol. This has been scientifically proven. According to researchers from the University of West of England, moderate-intensity walking can generate a change for the better in cholesterol levels in men with hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol). After the 12-week trial program, scientists also discovered that brisk walking helped participants lose weight.

Walking is a recommended exercise for multiple reasons. It’s easy to do, it does not require special equipment or certain physical abilities and it’s easy on the joints in case you’re suffering from arthritis or recovering from surgery. Walking comes with a multitude of health benefits. In addition to lowering your cholesterol, it can prevent heart disease, diabetes and certain forms of cancer, boost your immunity, aid digestion and relieve stress and anxiety.

To make the most of your walks, it’s advisable to start monitoring them. Keeping track of your physical activity will help you analyze your progress, stay motivated and reach new goals. You can easily track your walks with the aid of a free pedometer app such as our own ActivityTracker. This way you’ll see at a glance relevant fitness stats, like your step count, the distance walked, the calories burned or active time. You’ll also have the chance to set your own fitness targets and watch your activity for each day, week and month.


If you’re not suffering from any joint pain and your fitness level allows it, running is a great alternative. This sort of high-intensity workout can help you burn calories and lose weight, strengthen your bones and muscles, as well as boost your cardiovascular fitness. Naturally, this is an efficient exercise for lowering cholesterol.

A 2015-paper published in Sports Medicine concluded that running has a positive effect on body fat and mass, on triglycerides and the HDL cholesterol. At the end of the tests, scientists also found out that what makes a difference is not the intensity, but the length of the sessions. The longer the run, the higher the benefits.


Best Exercises to Reduce Cholesterol

Cycling is another exercise that can aid you lower cholesterol level. You can ride your bike for fun or to commute to work on a daily basis. A study carried out by Swedish researchers suggests that bicycling to work can play an important role in the prevention of various conditions, including the LDL cholesterol.

As a low-impact workout, cycling is ideal for those suffering from hip or knee pain. It will help you burn a similar amount of calories as jogging or running, but it won’t put so much pressure on your joints. Riding your bike is also great to build endurance and stamina, improve balance and coordination, tone your muscles, as well as boost your mental wellbeing.

Resistance Training

Reducing your cholesterol level isn’t entirely associated with aerobic exercise. There are other workouts you can do in order to better your health, such as resistance training. This type of training, also known as strength or weight training, includes lifting weights, doing squats, lunges, pull ups, push ups, deadlifts and more.

As mentioned, resistance training can be an effective exercise when it comes managing the bad cholesterol levels. More precisely, scientists from the University of Sao Paolo reached the conclusion that resistance training has the capacity to remove the LDL from the bloodstream in a fast and reliable way. At the same time, this is the perfect workout if you’re looking to build muscles and strength, get rid of unwanted fat and keep your heart healthy.


You probably didn’t think of it, right? Well, yoga is actually a great exercise if you want to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. And we have scientific proof. A study published in the Indian Heart Journal reported that healthy participants in a 3-month yoga program manifested a reduction in total and LDL cholesterol, while diabetic participants showed an increase in the HDL cholesterol level.

A meta-analysis published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology examined the impact of yoga on cholesterol. According to the results, this type of workout can generate considerable improvements in LDL and HDL cholesterol levels, as well as total cholesterol. The study also showed that engaging in yoga sessions can improve body mass and body weight and reduce blood pressure.

Bottom Line

Exercise plays an active role in reducing cholesterol level and keeping you healthy. There are plenty of workouts you can choose from, it all depends on your health, your fitness level and personal preferences. You can choose one of the exercises above or mix them to gain even more benefits. The key is to integrate at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each day, 5 days a week.