Effects of Exercise and Diet on Cholesterol

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How does a person increase their chances of heart disease, stroke and peripheral artery disease all in the same way? By having increased cholesterol levels (Wedro, 2014). It is estimated that 71 million Americans have high cholesterol, and of those, only one-third of them have it under control (CDC, 2011). A reduction in LDL cholesterol has been shown to decrease the prevalence of strokes and heart attacks. That being said, it has also been shown that cholesterol levels above 200mg/dL put an individual at twice the risk for coronary heart disease than persons with levels 180mg/dL or less (Mann, 2014). There are numerous risks associated with high cholesterol, luckily many factors that can help control it such as medications, exercise and nutrition (Filho, 2013). Exercise training has been supported to show improved changes in blood lipid panels (Greene, 2012). This paper is going to analyze the effects that exercise and diet can have on lowering total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, as well as looking into ways that can help to increase levels of HDL cholesterol. Maintaining cholesterol in the recommend range has been shown eliminate 20,000 myocardial infarctions and 8,000 deaths each year. Saving money is not as important as life saving tactics, but studies suggest that controlled cholesterol could reduce billions of health care costs that are related to elevated cholesterol levels annually (CDC, 2011). Elevated cholesterol levels are associated with limited access to health care; therefore looking into areas of lifestyle changes for health care benefits that are low cost and effective would be valuable (CDC, 2011).

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...the study the participants had to be female and obtain permission from a doctor to clear them for physical activity. The setting was semi-naturalistic. Participants were randomly assigned to the control or the experimental group. Measurements were taken for BMI and blood pressure, as well as a blood sample to determine the participant’s baseline. They were also assessed for activity tolerance, agility and flexibility. The participants in the experimental group underwent 16 weeks of exercise training that consisted of walking, stretching and balance exercises. The classes were held three-times per week, for a duration of about 60-70 minutes. The results showed that there was a significant decrease in all variables measured in the experimental group. Triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL, LDL and VLDL cholesterols as well as BMI and blood pressure had all decreased.
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