So what is physical activity? It is defined as participation in any form of regular exercise or sports for at least 30 minutes per day on most days of the week. It is broadly agreed that regular exercise reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and may slow the progression of established coronary artery disease. Regular and vigorous exercise can increase the metabolic demand of the body. This causes favorable alterations in the levels of LDL (low-density lipoproteins) cholesterol, HDL (high-density lipoproteins) cholesterol, and triglycerides. As such, exercise is always recommended to people with hypercholesterolemia, other lipid abnormalities, and in cardiovascular rehabilitation.
Study showed that exercise ability could be a more powerful predictor of mortality among men than other established risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Men with higher exercise ability during treadmill exercise testing confer more favorable improvement in survival rate. Other studies also reported that less fit or less active people could improve their survival rate if they could increase their level of fitness or physical activity. As such, physical activity can be considered as an integral part of a healthy lifestyle to reduce cardiovascular mortality and morbidity.
High blood cholesterol level has been considered as a risk factor for heart disease. The National Heart, Lungs and Blood Institute of USA recognize the casual association between high serum cholesterol levels and the incidence and severity of coronary artery disease. Many evidences have shown that reduction in cholesterol level could lead to a significant risk reduction in the prevention of coronary artery disease. For example, a 1 percent reduction in total cholesterol level can yield 2 to 3 percent reduction in the risk of coronary artery disease.
As demonstrated in many studies, physical activity and exercise training can effectively alter lipid metabolism. As a result of this, significant lowering of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels with increase in HDL cholesterol levels can be observed.
Physical activity improves our well being both physically and physiologically. Safe and convenient physical activities keep our weight under control, improve blood cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. In short, physical activity helps us to live a longer and healthier life.