ZocdocAnswersHow much exercise should I get regularly to help lower my cholesterol?

Question

How much exercise should I get regularly to help lower my cholesterol?

I recently found out that my cholesterol is high. Before putting me on medication, my doctor asked me to take some healthy steps with diet and exercise. I?ve cut all red meat out of my diet and have incorporated more fruits and vegetables into it. I have begun taking walks through my neighborhood a few days a week, but I don?t know if this is enough. How much exercise should I get regularly to help lower my cholesterol?

Answer

The good news is that you have taken the right first steps to lowering your cholesterol and you should continue to follow up with your physician. Both reducing the amount of red meat in your diet and increasing the amount of vegetables will go a long way to reduce your cholesterol. Aerobic exercise also helps and I often recommend to my patients to get their heart rate up to a certain point (depends on your age and other aspects of your health) for 30-40 minutes at least 4 days per week. The mount of exercise that is healthy for you should be discussed with your doctor. Remember also that there is good and bad cholesterol and its almost as important to have a high good cholesterol (known as the HDL) as it is to have a low bad cholesterol (known as the LDL). The type of physician you should follow with for this problem is your primary care doctor. He or she should follow your cholesterol at least once per year depending on how high it is. If diet and exercise are not enough to get your good and bad cholesterol at its targets, then you might need to have a medication added to your regimen. The good news is there are great medications today that have few side effects that can do the trick. Good luck.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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