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How Exercise Affects Blood Fat Levels

Regular exercise may help to prevent heart attacks by lowering insulin. When you eat, blood sugar levels rise and the higher they rise, the more insulin is released by your pancreas. You need insulin to keep blood sugar levels from rising too high, but it constricts arteries to cause heart attacks. When you exercise, you contract your muscles. Contracting muscles draw sugar from the bloodstream without requiring insulin. This keeps blood sugar levels from rising too high and prevents a high rise in blood insulin levels.

High blood levels of insulin lower the good HDL cholesterol and raise triglycerides, but do not affect the bad LDL cholesterol levels. Exercise lowers insulin levels and raises HDL, but does not lower LDL cholesterol levels.

Even if you are not diabetic or otherwise concerned with high blood sugar levels, you can benefit from a regular exercise program that lowers blood insulin levels. A good program might include alternating a primarily upper body exercise such as rowing with a primarily lower body exercise such as jogging. Alternating muscle groups allows your muscles to feel fresh each day and helps to prevent injuries.
Diet to lower cholesterol

AE Hardman. Role of exercise and weight loss in maximizing LDL cholesterol reduction. European Heart Journal Supplements, 1999, Vol 1, Iss S, pp

Checked 12/16/14

August 22nd, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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