The Exercise-Cholesterol Link
Choose a form of exercise you can do for minutes at a time, with at least moderate intensity, such as walking, biking, swimming , jogging, or using an exercise machine at low speed. In men, urinary incontinence can be caused by a weak urinary sphincter that may result from surgery for prostate cancer , an overactive bladder , or a bladder that doesn't contract. Kegels are exercises that help you zero in on and strengthen muscles below the bladder that help control urination. Researchers aren't entirely sure how exercise lowers cholesterol , but they are beginning to have a clearer idea. Try keeping a record of your urine leakage each day to help you notice improvements.
The Exercise-Cholesterol Link
WebMD archives content after 2 years to ensure our readers can easily find the most timely content. To find the most current information, please enter your topic of interest into our search box. You may have heard that exercise is one of the best ways to lower your cholesterol.
But how does it work? And what type of exercise is most effective? Researchers aren't entirely sure how exercise lowers cholesterol , but they are beginning to have a clearer idea. One way exercise can help lower cholesterol is by helping you lose -- or maintain -- weight. Being overweight tends to increase the amount of low-density lipoprotein LDL in your blood , the kind of lipoprotein that's been linked to heart disease.
Part of the confusion about the effect of exercise on cholesterol stems from the fact that most early cholesterol studies focused on both exercise and dietary changes, making it hard to tease out which of these factors was actually making the difference. But recent studies have more carefully examined the effect of exercise alone, making it easier to evaluate the relationship between exercise and cholesterol.
Researchers now believe there are several mechanisms involved. First, exercise stimulates enzymes that help move LDL from the blood and blood-vessel walls to the liver.
From there, the cholesterol is converted into bile for digestion or excreted. So the more you exercise, the more LDL your body expels. Second, exercise increases the size of the protein particles that carry cholesterol through the blood. The combination of protein particles and cholesterol are called "lipoproteins;" it's the LDLs that have been linked to heart disease.
Some of those particles are small and dense; some are big and fluffy. Exactly how much exercise is needed to lower cholesterol has been a matter of some debate. In general, most public health organizations recommend, at a minimum, 30 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous exercise , such as walking, jogging , biking, or gardening. But a study by researchers at Duke University Medical Center found that more intense exercise is actually better than moderate exercise for lowering cholesterol.
In a study of overweight , sedentary people who did not change their diet, the researchers found that those who got moderate exercise the equivalent of 12 miles of walking or jogging per week did lower their LDL level somewhat. But the people who did more vigorous exercise the equivalent of 20 miles of jogging a week lowered it even more. Kegels are exercises that help you zero in on and strengthen muscles below the bladder that help control urination. In men, urinary incontinence can be caused by a weak urinary sphincter that may result from surgery for prostate cancer , an overactive bladder , or a bladder that doesn't contract.
Kegel exercises can help you improve -- or in some cases completely regain -- bladder control. Kegels are easy to do, once you know which muscles to target. One of the easiest ways to locate your muscles is during urination.
Some men find these muscles by imagining that they are trying to stop the passage of gas. Squeezing these muscles gives a pulling sensation; these are the right muscles for pelvic exercises. It's important not to contract other muscles. Some men need biofeedback to help them target the right muscles.
It may also be easier to contract the muscles for just two or three seconds at first. That puts more weight on the muscles, boosting your workout and improving your control.
Seeing results with any exercise takes time, so be patient. If you do Kegels three times a day, you should see better bladder control in three to six weeks -- some men see it even sooner.