The Washington, DC, area has been engulfed with some pretty hot weather over the past few days with temperatures reaching well into the 90's. While such midday temperatures make it hazardous for many to exercise outdoors, this also means that the temperatures in the early morning and late afternoon into evening are optimal to enjoy a brisk neighborhood walk, a pleasant jog, or a bike ride through the park.
Exercising has been proven to play a large role in staving off heart disease, as an active lifestyle is extremely effective in helping one lose weight. Losing weight is a key factor in controlling your cholesterol as being overweight tends to increase the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in your blood, the kind of lipoprotein that's been linked to heart disease. According to recent studies, it is now believed that exercise stimulates enzymes that help move LDL from the blood (and blood-vessel walls) to the liver. From there, the cholesterol is converted into bile (for digestion) or excreted. So, basically, the more you exercise, the more LDL your body expels.
But how much should one exercise in order to make an impact on their cholesterol levels? Obviously the more the better! Experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate to high level exercise each day. This may involve walking, jogging, or pretty much anything that elevates the heart rate for a substantial amount of time. With a new animal companion at the helm I am now getting out for a good 30 minute walk first thing in the morning and then again later in the day after work as the sun starts to go down. Our new dog Arnie is still a pup so with all that energy it is almost like jogging 30 minutes twice a day. Needless to say, both my wife and I have been dropping weight while building muscle, which at our age is a definite plus.
While we are on the topic of exercising and heart disease there was an announcement this week about the findings of a recent exercise study done in over 39 thousand female health professionals of average age 54, which highlighted the relationship between walking regularly and the risk of suffering a stroke. The results found that women who walked at a pace of 3 miles per hour or faster had a 37% lower risk of suffering any type of stroke, and those that walked two or more hours a week had a 30% reduced risk of any type of stroke.
Walking is an easy way to stay fit and a great way for beginners to ease into an exercise routine. The benefits on cholesterol levels are well documented, so leash the dog and grab your ipod and get started.
Published On: April 13, 2010