Exercise increases the production of HDL’s, even just going for a walk. Why is this important and what is the link with atherosclerosis? We have all heard LDL’s, low density Lipoproteins, referred to as the bad guys and HDL’s, high density.
Lipoproteins, referred to as the good guys. Many of us have also heard that it is not necessarily the high cholesterol but the ratio of the HDL’s to the LDL’s, in fact we need those lipids in our diet to form many important building blocks in our system, such as hormones. Every cell in our body has a lipid bilayer that is necessary for cellular function. Of course the better your diet the less LDL’s you have total, so it is easier to maintain that ratio. What many of us don’t know is that LDL’s have the potential to become OXIDIZED. This oxidation is when LDL’s become dangerous. The oxidation allows them to enter the vessel wall where they turn into foam cells and get stuck causing inflammation and atherosclerosis.
SOOO along with the myriad of other free radical scavenging benefits of antioxidants they are a major player in the prevention of atherosclerosis. Many of us also don’t know that one reason HDL’s are good guys is because they can work as ANTIOXIDANTS on LDL’s neutralizing the danger. Which brings me to the best part, EXERCISE increases HDL’s. A normal healthy ratio of LDL to HDL is 4 to 1. Athletes in extreme cases have been able to achieve a 1 to 1 ratio. Along with always having a healthy dose of antioxidants and good fats, such as avocados, in your diet or supplements remember that EXERCISE is an easy way to play a big part in keeping your vessels healthy. Get out and go for a walk!!!