What is cholesterol and how is it bad? Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in your body and many foods. Your body needs cholesterol to function normally and makes all that you need. Too much cholesterol can sometimes build up in your arteries. After a while, these deposits narrow your arteries, putting you at risk for heart disease and stroke.
Research has clearly shown that lowering cholesterol can reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Whether you have heart disease already or want to prevent it, you can reduce your risk for having a heart attack by lowering your cholesterol level.
According to the American Heart Association, exercise and a healthy, balanced diet low in cholesterol and saturated fats is important to lowering risk and improving your cardiovascular health. Being physically inactive contributes to overweight and can raise your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is known as the “bad” cholesterol. Inactivity lowers your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol. Regular physical activity can raise HDL and lower triglycerides, and can help you lose weight. Participate in physical activity of moderate intensity—like brisk walking—for at least 30 minutes on most, and preferably all, days of the week. No time? Break the 30 minutes into three, 10-minute segments during the day.
The main goal in treating high cholesterol is to lower your LDL level. Studies have proven that lowering LDL can prevent heart attacks and reduce deaths from heart disease in both men and women.