High density lipoprotein cholesterol can be a negative risk- factor for coronary heart disease. Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in America for men and women. Keep in mind that a positive risk-factor promotes bad health and a negative risk-factor reduces bad health. While statin medication is a popular way to treat cholesterol issues, still 65%-75% of cardiovascular events happen with adults on medications. There are some lifestyle changes that can make a difference in your number.
One is aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise has been known to increase HDL-C levels 9%. Just in case you are wondering how much you have to do for the 9%, it is a minimum of 120 minutes a week or an expenditure of 900 kilocalories. More endurance can put you in an even better place. That’s really not that much. One of my friends walks over 100 minutes a day. She’s almost there in one workout. The American Heart Association has diet recommendations to improve HDL. Check out the website. Moderate alcohol use is proven to increase HDL. On the other hand, heavy use presents other problems other than being intoxicated. The more one smokes the more the effects on HDL-C and not in a good way.
Source: IDEA Fitness Journal April 2011
Research: Len Kravitz, PhD