The Link Between Inactivity and High Cholesterol

The Link Between Inactivity and High Cholesterol

High cholesterol is a health condition that can affect almost anyone. Cholesterol itself is a waxy substance found in the fats within your bloodstream, and it can build up along the sides of your veins and arteries to cause atherosclerosis, or heart disease. 

While there’s such a thing as “good” cholesterol, high cholesterol refers to the “bad” variety that is potentially harmful to your health. Here at Westmed Family Healthcare, our expert providers help you analyze your lifestyle and find out how it relates to long-term conditions like high cholesterol.

At our offices in Westminster, Colorado, board-certified physicians Clifton Etienne, MD, Michael Cavanagh, MD, and Flora Brewington, MD, can help you manage your high cholesterol and treat it with sustainable lifestyle changes, some of which may surprise you. 

Most people realize nutrition has a lot to do with cholesterol, but few recognize the link between high cholesterol and inactivity. Here’s how a sedentary lifestyle contributes to elevated cholesterol levels.

Physical inactivity is harmful for your long-term health

Anyone who has ever spoken to a physician in the context of their health has some idea of the importance of exercise. Even a mild amount of exercise improves your cardiovascular health and lowers your risk for an array of serious health conditions including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. High cholesterol is included in that list. 

As mentioned before, there is a “good” kind of cholesterol. It’s called high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and it helps remove fatty buildup along the sides of your blood vessels. When you don’t get enough exercise, your body doesn’t produce enough HDL cholesterol and can’t keep up with removing deposits of bad cholesterol from your vascular system. 

It’s easy to avoid exercise, especially if you’re particularly busy. Many people who are sedentary don’t even realize it because they have other things to think about. Yet, making an effort to include some physical activity in your routine is crucial for your long-term health and longevity. 

How much exercise should you get?

The recommended amount of exercise varies from person to person. Your provider at Westmed Family Healthcare makes specific recommendations after a comprehensive health evaluation. Generally, experts recommend around 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise.

Aerobic exercise is any exercise that works your heart, such as running, biking, walking, or jumping rope. Even household cleaning or yard work, tedious as they may be, can count toward your weekly quota. 

What to do next

If you know you have high cholesterol or believe you’re at risk, Westmed Family Healthcare is here to help. For more guidance on managing high cholesterol, schedule an appointment over the phone or online today. 

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