While HDL is considered the “good” cholesterol that helps keep arteries functioning, not all HDL does its heart-protection job very well. But researchers at UCLA have found an exercise that makes your HDL better at keeping your cardiovascular system in tip-top shape.
The beneficial exercise is weight lifting.
The scientists found that HDL functioned better in the men who have a regular weight-lifting program, even if they are overweight.
The research showed that overweight exercisers’ HDL is just as good as the HDL cholesterol circulating in thinner exercisers. Both groups’ HDL performs significantly better than those who don’t exercise.
This study suggests that regular weight training may improve HDL function and protect against heart disease, even in people who remain overweight. Although weighing less is associated with better HDL function, differences in fitness, the researchers say, may be a better indication of who has healthier-functioning HDL cholesterol and who is at increased or reduced risk of heart disease.