High Cholesterol (Dyslipidemia)
High cholesterol may also be known as dyslipidaemia and refers to abnormal levels of lipids or lipoproteins – the carries that transport fat around the body. These lipoproteins are categorised as LDL cholesterol (low density lipoprotein, or ‘bad’ cholesterol) and HDL cholesterol (high density lipoprotein, or ‘good’ cholesterol).
A lipid profile blood test is performed to diagnose dyslipidaemia, with poor blood lipid profile being a significant risk for blood vessel damage. Hence, the risk of cardiac events also increases with high levels of LDL cholesterol levels. Blood vessel damage, cardiovascular disease, pancreatitis and fatty liver are all conditions associated with poor blood lipid profile.
Healthy Blood Lipid Profile:
<2.5mmol/L LDL cholesterol in healthy people
<1.8mmolL for LDL with existing heart disease
>1.0mmol/L for HDL cholesterol
<2.0mmol/L for triglycerides
The management of dyslipidaemia should include a strong focus on lifestyle changes, through regular physical activity and improving diet. Regular aerobic exercise can increase HCL cholesterol and reduce triglycerides. Individuals should aim for at least 30 minutes of brisk paced walking, cycling, swimming etc. every day.
Resistance exercise can also help improve the blood lipid profile. Generally, 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions for ~8-10 exercises is encouraged 2 or 3 times a week.
It is advised to seek help from an exercise physiologist who can help design an exercise program of most benefit to you. Contact 4 Life Exercise Physiology to book your appointment.