Does Working Out Burn Cholesterol?

If you’re looking to improve your cholesterol levels, you might be wondering if working out can help. Learn more about how exercise can impact cholesterol and how to make it work for you.


Cholesterol is a type of fatty substance found in your bloodstream. High levels of cholesterol can be dangerous and can increase the risk of serious health problems such as stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. Exercise can help lower cholesterol levels, but it is important to understand how and why it works before incorporating it into your lifestyle. In this article, we will examine the effects of exercise on cholesterol levels and provide tips for how to reduce your own cholesterol through physical activity. We’ll also discuss how diet and lifestyle factors play an important role in managing overall health. By staying educated about the facts, you can make informed decisions about forming a plan that helps you lower – and maintain – your healthy cholesterol level.

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a type of fat-like substance found in your blood. It serves several important functions in the body such as helping build cell membranes and producing hormones. However, high levels of cholesterol can lead to a number of health problems such as heart disease. Let’s take a look at what cholesterol is and how exercise helps to manage it.

Types of Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a special type of fat that our body’s cells need to work correctly and remain healthy. The human body produces some cholesterol on its own and we also get it from certain types of foods such as meat, butter, eggs, and cheese. Our body needs a small amount of cholesterol in order to make hormones, vitamin D, and other substances that help in digestion.

There are two different types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL), commonly known as “bad” cholesterol; and high-density lipoprotein (HDL), known as “good” cholesterol. LDL carries more than twice the amount of bad cholesterol found in HDL, but the good news is that LDL can be reduced or even prevented through exercise and dietary changes. HDL on the other hand can help carry away the excess bad cholesterol from our cells and back to the liver where it can be eliminated from our bodies. It’s important to have an appropriate balance between LDL levels (the bad) and HDL levels (the good) for optimal health.

Working out does not directly burn or eliminate “bad” LDL cholesterol from your system; however it does help you maintain healthy levels by reducing inflammation which is associated with high blood pressure levels – a possible cause for high LDL levels – as well as strengthen your heart muscle so that it pumps more effectively thus helping remove excess LDL from circulation in your veins more quickly. Regular exercise also helps increase “good” HDL levels in your system which then helps promote better overall health benefits by playing an important role in transporting harmful substances such as triglycerides away from arteries before they can form plaque buildup that might lead to blockages and stroke or heart attack incidents down the line.

Causes of High Cholesterol

High cholesterol levels in the body are caused by various factors, including lifestyle choices, heredity, and specific medical conditions. For many people, high cholesterol is due to a combination of these factors.

Unhealthy dietary habits that contribute to high cholesterol levels include eating too much saturated fat and trans fats found in processed and packaged foods such as snacks, desserts, and fast food. Eating a diet that is high in sugar and simple carbohydrates or being overweight or obese can also contribute to high cholesterol levels.

Lack of physical activity is another leading cause of high cholesterol as it prevents the body from burning off bad (LDL) cholesterol before it can accumulate in the body. It also prevents good (HDL) cholesterol from redistributing itself efficiently throughout the body.

Certain medications such as steroids can raise total blood cholesterol levels by impacting how the liver produces LDL (bad) cholesterol while decreasing its production of HDL (good) cholesterol. Certain medical conditions – such as hypothyroidism – can likewise play a role in increasing levels of LDL in the blood.

In some cases, genetics may be a factor when it comes to elevated levels of LDL-C; familial hypercholesterolemia is an example of genetic predisposition to having higher than usual amounts of bad (LDL-C) circulating in the bloodstream.

Does Working Out Burn Cholesterol?

Working out is a great way to stay healthy and fit, but does it also help to burn cholesterol? While exercise and physical activity can help to lower your blood cholesterol level, it is not the primary way to reduce cholesterol levels. Let’s take a closer look at the role of exercise in lowering cholesterol levels and what other strategies can be used to reduce cholesterol.

Benefits of Exercise for Cholesterol

Proper physical activity can help to reduce cholesterol levels and improve overall health. Estimates suggest that exercise can reduce LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels by up to 20%. At the same time, working out will also improve the rate at which your body removes LDL from the blood stream, so that it does not accumulate in the vessels and clog them. In addition, exercise has been found to increase HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) levels and provide added protection against heart disease.

Exercising for 30 minutes each day can help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels as well as improve other areas of health. Being physically active also helps you maintain a healthy weight — extra pounds are associated with higher bad cholesterol levels. A balanced exercise routine is best; including both aerobic exercises such as running or swimming, as well as resistance training like lifting weights or using own body resistance exercises like squats or push-ups.

There are many other benefits of exercising regularly — it not only helps control LDL and HDL factors but also helps decrease stress, increase endorphins which puts you in a better mood, strengthens bones, builds muscle mass helping protect joints, improves balance and coordination, lowers blood pressure and boosts energy levels!

Exercise for Lowering LDL Cholesterol

Exercise can be a powerful tool in managing diseases related to high LDL cholesterol. Regular aerobic exercise, when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle changes, has been shown to lower bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of coronary artery disease.

In addition to aerobic exercise – activities that increase your breathing and heart rate for an extended period of time like walking, running or cycling – it’s just as important to incorporate anaerobic exercise into your routine. Anaerobic exercises require short bursts of energy such as resistance training or interval training. Not only can these types of exercises help lower LDL cholesterol levels, they can also increase good (HDL) cholesterol levels and reduce triglyceride levels.

It’s recommended to work out at least three times a week for 30 minutes at each session but you don’t need to do all exercise at one time. Breaking up your workouts throughout the day is also beneficial in maintaining overall health. Talk with your doctor or healthcare provider if you are unsure which type of exercise is best for you depending on your activity level and current health status.

Exercise for Raising HDL Cholesterol

Increasing High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, can combat the effects of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol in the body. Exercise is a key factor in achieving elevated HDL levels, as it increases blood flow and works to remove unhealthier fats from the bloodstream.

A moderate amount of aerobic exercise for around 30 minutes each day is suggested to reduce cholesterol levels and help raise HDL, as well as improving overall health and energy levels. Regular physical activity can come from brisk walking, running, swimming, bike riding or even stretching and light bodyweight exercises, making it easy to achieve whatever exercise goals you set for yourself. Alternatively, if you find somewhere between 5-7 days is more suitable due to time commitments or other circumstances that arise, this is also beneficial.

In addition to elevated HDL levels however, exercise can bring with it other benefits such as improved cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure and reducing stress. It may also help regulate your metabolism so that weight maintenance becomes easier over time; allowing you maintain healthier habits which work towards your individual fitness needs.


The bottom line is that working out does not burn cholesterol directly. Cholesterol is a type of fat that the body needs for certain functions, and it can be broken down into smaller molecules and eliminated from the body. Since exercise helps to maintain a healthy weight and improve overall health, it may help to lower cholesterol levels in some people. However, it’s important to note that exercise is only part of an overall plan for lowering high cholesterol levels, as changes in diet and lifestyle are also necessary for maximum results. If you’re looking to lower your cholesterol levels, talk to your doctor about the best approach for you.

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