At the risk of sounding like a certain 20-something socialite, High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) is hot! Advances in research have brought more attention to the blood lipid (or fat) we often call "good" cholesterol.
"Good" cholesterol doesn't refer to the cholesterol we eat in food, but rather to the high-density lipoprotein cholesterol circulating in our blood. It's one of the fats measured in the lipid panel blood test doctors perform. And it's the component you want more of, because a higher HDL...
It also is possible that regular physical activity increases the
number of smaller blood vessels that connect different coronary arteries. If
one of the major coronary arteries is suddenly blocked, these collateral blood
vessels serve as an alternate route to supply blood to the portion of the heart
muscle threatened by a heart attack.
Exercise doesn't have to be difficult. Any
activity that raises your heart rate can be considered exercise, such as
walking, cycling, swimming, gardening, or dancing.
Try to do
moderate exercise at least 2½ hours a week. One way to
do this is to be active 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week. Or try to do
vigorous activity at least 1¼ hours a week. One way to
do this is to be active 25 minutes a day, at least 3 days a week. It's fine to
be active in blocks of 10 minutes or more throughout your day and week. You can
choose to do one or both types of activity. But if you have never exercised,
even 5 minutes of walking each day is a good start. Add more as you are
Talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise program if
you have been diagnosed with coronary artery disease; have been sedentary for a
long period of time; or have other heart, lung, or metabolic diseases, such as
Report any symptoms, such as chest pain or shortness of
breath, to your doctor immediately.
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
John A. McPherson, MD, FACC, FSCAI - Cardiology
May 10, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
May 10, 2010
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