Fitness and Physical Activity


Lt Col Reynolds
By this time, most of us know that fitness and physical activity are important for overall health. Dr. Patel, can you tell us how physical activity can affect dyslipidemia?

Dr. Patel
Sure, Dr. Reynolds. Physical activity can have a strong, positive effect on dyslipidemia. Exercise increases HDL cholesterol in some people and, of course, a higher HDL cholesterol level is linked with a lower risk of heart disease. Physical activity can also help control weight, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Aerobic exercise, which is exercise that uses oxygen to provide energy to large muscles, raises both your heart and breathing rates. Regular activities, such as brisk walking, jogging, and swimming also condition your heart and lungs.

An inactive lifestyle is a major risk factor for heart disease. Even moderately intense activities, if you do them each day, can help reduce your risk. Examples are walking for pleasure, gardening, yard work, and even housework.

It’s important to remember that exercise is not an “all or nothing” proposition. Some activity is better than none, and it’s okay to start out slowly and build up as time goes by. Unfortunately, some people are intimidated by the idea of working out, and don’t ever get started. Even if you’re simply walking your dog, or parking farther away from the door at the supermarket, you’re making progress.