Physical activities to improve your health

Along with other risk factors, a lack of physical exercise is a major cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD). 1 As dyslipidemia is linked to one’s cholesterol and triglyceride levels, regular activities have a significant impact on lowering cholesterol and triglycerides and on the risks of developing dyslipidemia. 1

Before starting any physical activity, you need to discuss with your doctor the intensity and nature of the exercises to avoid overwhelming the body.  

Set of exercises to practice if you have dyslipidemia

Physical activities help the body burn calories. 2 Many physical activities can be done, and they are not limited to the practice of sports. For instance, playing with your children and raking leaves are healthy activities that make the body active.

Did you know?  
It is recommended for adults to have at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity3 during the week. It is important to allocate physical exercises throughout the week. One example is performing 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week of moderate activity.  

It has been proven that moderate activity will help burn three to six times more calories than sitting quietly, while vigorous activity burns six times more calories than sitting quietly.4 Here are some exercises that can be performed:4

Physical activity with   moderate aerobic intensityPhysical activity with vigorous aerobic intensity
Brisk walkingRunning
DancingWalking/climbing
GardeningFast cycling
House choresAerobics
Games with children/walking domestic animalsFast swimming
Building tasks (roofing, painting)Sports and games (basketball, tennis, football, hockey, volleyball)
Carrying moderate loads (< 20 kg)Carrying heavy loads (> 20 kg)

Additional exercises:

Strength and balance exercises

Balance exercises help reduce the risk of falls and injuries, while strength exercises work the muscles and reduce body weight.

Balance exercisesStrength exercises11
Tai-Chi (sometimes considered the best balance exercise)5Weight lifting
Pilates9Using band resistance
Yoga10Using body weight for resistance: push-ups, sit-ups

These kinds of exercises are directly linked with lower risks of heart attack and stroke. One hour of strength exercises per week, independent of aerobic exercises, can decrease your CVD risk by 40% to 70%.6

Simple tips to overcome your constraints:

  • Put some signs inside your house or reminders on your phone that you need to practice physical activities during the week.
  • Ask a friend or a family member to remind you that you need to be active during the week.
  • Reward yourself when you have finished your exercises.
  • Try to work out with friends or family members. For example, take a nice walk with your friend instead of going to a coffee place.
  • Try to break up the routine and exercise via new activities.
  • Watch less TV for 20 minutes and exercise instead.

Of course, you should engage in the kind of sport or type of physical activity that not only involves physical conditioning but also brings you pleasure. In addition to its obvious cardiovascular benefits, exercise stimulates the production of the hormone endorphin—the key to a good mood. 7 Physical activity also helps you quit smoking 8 and maintain a stable weight after quitting this bad habit.

These recommendations and the list of activities provided are not exhaustive and depend on the previous condition and your health profile.

Prior to starting any physical activity, please check with your doctor to define what is suitable for you depending on your health.

References

  1. Albarrati AM, Alghamdi MSM, Nazer RI, Alkorashy MM, Alshowier N, Gale N. Effectiveness of low to moderate physical exercise training on the level of low-density lipoproteins: A systematic review. Biomed Res Int. 2018 Nov 1;2018.
  2. American Heart Association. Getting Physically Active. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cardiac-rehab/getting-physically-active. Published 2020. Accessed October 21, 2020.
  3. WHO. Physical activity and adults. https://www.who.int/teams/health-promotion/physical-activity/physical-activity-and-adults. Published 2020. Accessed October 21, 2020.
  4. WHO. What is Moderate-intensity and Vigorous-intensity Physical Activity? https://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/physical_activity_intensity/en/. Published 2020. Accessed October 21, 2020.
  5. Harvard Health Letter. Best exercise for balance: Tai chi. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/best-exercise-for-balance-tai-chi. Published 2014. Accessed November 5, 2020.
  6. Liu Y, Lee D, Li Y, et al. Associations of resistance exercise with cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2019;51(3):499-508.
  7. Harvard Health Letter. Exercising to relax. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/exercising-to-relax. Accessed November 5, 2020.
  8. MedicalNewsToday. How exercise can help you to quit smoking. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320484. Accessed November 5, 2020.
  9. Betterhealth, Victoria State Government. Pilates And Yoga – Health Benefits. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/pilates-and-yoga-health-benefits. Accessed November 5, 2020.
  10. Harvard Health. Yoga Balance Workout. https://www.health.harvard.edu/exercise-and-fitness/yoga-balance-workout#:~:text=Yoga%20does%20an%20excellent%20job,to%20changes%20as%20you%20move. Accessed November 5, 2020
  11. New Health Service. How to Improve your strength and flexibility. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/how-to-improve-strength-flexibility/. Accessed 26 November 2020.

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