The Effect of Exercise on Cholesterol Levels

So after all the reregistrations and referrals (see my past blog posts), I finally reached the hospital lipid clinic about on time, a year after my last appointment at my previous clinic. I find hospitals profoundly irritating and badly-designed places and thanks in part to the confusing map they posted me, I parked about as far away as you can get and so my blood pressure was up again when they checked me in.

Quite impressed with the consultant, who spent a lot of time with me, checking things, finding out what they wanted to ask my previous clinic - they didn't realise I had had 24-hour blood pressure and ECGs in the last few years - and suggested a few questions I should ask my relatives. I really felt they acknowledged the uncertainties and wanted to prevent a coronary event and minimise any side-effects, rather than just keep upping my pills. Follow up in about six months.

But the interesting news is that I think exercise does help lower cholesterol. Due to clinical error (incomplete test set requested first time) before this appointment, I had two hospital lab cholesterol level readings pretty close together. 5.5mmol/l total cholesterol after a period of little exercise (due to all the ice), followed by 4.7mmol/l TC two weeks later after usual exercise (10-20 miles bicycle about four days a week). No change in HDL but can't say what component was reduced as TG wasn't measured either time.

13 Replies

  • Good to hear that you had a positive experience once you got to your appointment.

    I really do think that exercise does help lower cholesterol. I have to say that during the winter months that fact is one of the few reasons I can find to get my walking shoes on and brave the cold. While I walk I imagine the LDL dropping and the HDL rising. That puts a spring in my step.

    Then the only problem is coming home half frozen and trying to avoid making a hot chocolate!!

  • I started the C25K (running for 30 minutes) programme at the end of October last year and I am looking forward to seeing what my cholesterol levels are when I get my bloods done next month. However, my blood pressure has rocketed recently so not sure what is going on?

  • Hi what's the C25k sorry about the ignorance iv not heard that before

    I'm trying to find out as much info as possible -- thank you

  • Couch-potato to 5 km, I think.

  • Details on the NHS choices website and a forum to keep you motivated. Basically a running programme that gets you running from 0 to 30 minutes in 9 weeks.

  • Hi guys - well I'm just trying the exercise route walking every day for about three quarter of an hour to an hour- I'm hoping it going to help but need to wait a few weeks to find out

    My GP has put me on vutalty health course at the local health centre run by our local health board- I weigh 10st 10 oz - and eat a healthy diet plus I have just began drinking pomegranit pur juice as I understand that's natural product for burning up cholestral ( my chol is 9.7 )

    After being very poorly with a lung infection the docs took me off fibrates due to hair shedding and have just prescribed Crestor iv been on lots of different ones all cause nasty side effects- so I'm taking charge of things myself now rightly or wrongly

    Lots of exercise lots drinking lots of water lets see what happens - you have a shown a good example that exercise works -- that's encouraging best wishe to you

  • Hi patsyblue have you tried intermittent fasting i have had side effects from 3 different statins and fenofibrate my arm muscles hurt and the shape of my thighs have changed ,i was told i had to take statins for the rest of my life but i would rather suffer .

    2 months into fasting between 11am and 7pm i have come down from 7.9 to 6.2 my doc is so pleased the only thing i take are opti omega 3 capsules .

  • Walking to me, is the only exercise! I would rather walk in the rain and wind than spend hundreds of pounds tramping the treadmill in a gym!!! Half and hour every day, whatever the weather, maybe even more if the weather is nicer and the endorphins kick in and you feel fantastic. When you get back into a warm house and sit down to a cup of tea you feel tingly and warm inside and relaxed, and believe me there is nothing that pushes up the blood presssure levels and the LDL cholesterol more than stress! Keep up the good work everyone and a healthy regard to you all

  • Patch14

    You have totally summed up the great feeling one gets after walking and then coming home to a cup of tea.!! In fact I start to think about that cup of tea as soon as I turn for home half way through my walk. Today in the freezing cold it was all that kept me going. With my tea I have a handful of almonds and a few pieces of dried apricot. Sometimes the simple things in life taste great.


    Statins Can Inhibit Muscle Repair FatIsNotYourFault

    check these out i am intermittent fasting and im feeling better except for the damage to my left arm that statins have done ,i have only been doing the intermittent fasting for 3 months and there is already a significant change in me goodbye statins for ever

  • The link seems to be something about breakfast. I like breakfast and feel awful all day if I don't eat a mixed fruit and protein breakfast. But hey, if it works for you, good luck!

  • Yes you miss my point at when you like but eat for no more than 8 hours in a day and you will be surprised at how you feel ,dont just read the heading read the whole info please .

    please dont suffer with any aches and pains from taking any medication

  • Regular exercise positively alters the cholesterol metabolism. Exercising leads to the production of enzymes and in turn alters their action and these in turn enhance the reverse cholesterol transport system. The diets, weight loss, body weight, all interact with exercises to alter the rate of the synthesis, transport and clearance of cholesterol from the body.

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