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Make exercise part of your treatment. It’s a fast and effective way to lower unhealthy triglyceride levels.

Start with 20-30 minutes of aerobic activity -- do that 5 days a week and watch your numbers drop. The best part? You reap the benefits of exercise even if you don’t lose weight right away.

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Pick a Triglyceride-Trimming Exercise

Aerobic activity offers the best results, so find one you enjoy -- and have a backup plan for those days when your first choice isn’t possible. If you haven’t been active in a long time, check with your doctor first. Choose any of these:

  • Basketball
  • Bicycling
  • Elliptical
  • Jog at a steady pace
  • Jumping rope
  • Kick-box
  • Racquetball
  • Soccer
  • Step aerobics
  • Stair climbing (traditionally or on a machine)
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Walking briskly
  • Zumba

Add Strength Training

While working with weights hasn’t been shown to reduce triglycerides, it can still boost the results of aerobic exercise. Stronger muscles burn more calories -- all day, not just after a workout. And burning calories results in weight loss, which does lower triglycerides.

If you’ve never lifted weights, learn proper form from a professional so you don’t hurt yourself.

Tricks to Boost Your Results

A few simple steps can help you get more bang from your buck from each minute you exercise.

  • Work out 1 hour before you eat to prevent the triglyceride spikes that occur after meals.  
  • Exercise before breakfast for the biggest payoff because it prevents triglyceride spikes after breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So, take your dog for a walk or hop on the treadmill first thing in the morning.
  • For the most effective workout, exercise at a moderate-to-intense pace and cut back on how much you eat.

Simple Ways to Fit in Exercise

Don't stress if it’s hard to get in a 30 minute workout every day.

"You don't necessarily have to set aside a period of time when you put on your jogging shoes and sweat pants and go running," says Robert Bonow, MD, former president of the American Heart Association. "You can just be active throughout the day."

Start gradually. Squeeze in 10 minutes of exercise and build up to several times a day. Here are a few ways to add some activity into your schedule:

  • Stand up and pace whenever you talk on the phone or while you watch TV.
  • If you aren’t inclined to stand, pull your knees toward your chest to tighten your abs or do straight leg lifts while you watch TV or talk on the phone.
  • Challenge yourself to keep adding in steps until you get up to 10,000 steps a day. Wear a pedometer all day to track your steps.

Once you get your exercise routine down, improve results even more with a healthy diet. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment -- and enjoy better health.