Our expert says:
As with most rumours, there are always half-truths and so one has to sort through what is fact and what gets distorted.
Exercise is actually really good for people who have elevated cholesterol - it not only reduced the total level, but it alters the levels of what are commonly called "Good" and "Bad" cholesterol. So it has two benefits. Diet is of course a very critical component of regulating cholesterol, but exercise is also very effective and so shoudl be recommended. So far from being dangerous, it's actually very good.
Where the myth probably began was because in people who have high blood pressure, there is a possibility that a plaque (which is a buildup of cholesterol inside blood vessels) can rupture or break off, causing strokes or heart attacks. So that probably gave cholesterol a bad repution. The truth is that regular exercise is beneficial, both for high blood pressure and for cholesterol. In people with high Blood pressure, it's just important to recieve guidance when they start exercise, because certain exercises, like weight lifting, would cause blood pressure to rise even more. But it really is a big benefit to exercise, so I say go for it!
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