Quality CareFind out why Mayo Clinic is the right place for your health care. Make an appointment.
Meet the StaffFind a directory of doctors and departments at all Mayo Clinic campuses. Visit now.
Research and Clinical TrialsSee how Mayo Clinic research and clinical trials advance the science of medicine and improve patient care. Explore now.
Visit Our SchoolsEducators at Mayo Clinic train tomorrow’s leaders to deliver compassionate, high-value, safe patient care. Choose a degree.
Professional ServicesExplore Mayo Clinic’s many resources and see jobs available for medical professionals. Get updates.
Give to Mayo ClinicHelp set a new world standard in care for people everywhere. Give now.
Mayo Clinic offers appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System locations.
Subscribe to Housecall
Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics.
Regular physical activity can help lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad," cholesterol, the main source of cholesterol buildup in the arteries and a risk factor for heart disease. It can also raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good," cholesterol, which helps prevent cholesterol buildup.
The surgeon general recommends engaging in at least 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity a week — about 20 minutes a day — such as cycling, dancing, bowling and gardening. More-intense activities include jogging, swimming, and playing basketball, racquetball, soccer and tennis.
Adding muscle-strengthening exercises, such as squats, arm curls and leg raises, at least two days a week increases benefit.
Check with your doctor before you start any exercise regimen. It's best to ease into your exercise routine slowly if you haven't been active lately. For instance, start by taking short walks around the block, and then gradually work up to a faster pace and longer distances.
Martha Grogan, M.D.
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Proceeds from website advertising help support our mission. Mayo Clinic does not endorse non-Mayo products and services.
Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic.
A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.