As you get older, and especially when you reach 60 years of age, your cholesterol levels tend to rise. However, men who exercise at an early age, improve their chances of delaying the onset of high cholesterol which has a direct effect on the development of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and osteoporosis, to name a few.
A study was undertaken to determine the effects of aerobic-style exercise to help reduce cholesterol in men, whereby 11,418 healthy men between the ages of 20 to 90 years were analyzed over a period of 36 years. In order to participate in the study, the subjects had to have normal cholesterol levels and no previous history of heart disease or cancer, were well educated and financially stable. Throughout the decades of testing, researchers performed an average of three blood tests to check the cholesterol levels, as well as administered treadmill tests to measure cardio-respiratory fitness. It was found that the higher the scores achieved on the fitness test, the lower the cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL “bad” cholesterol) levels were, and the opposite applied as well. It was also reported that men with low levels of fitness experienced higher cholesterol at an earlier age.
A downside of the study was that they did not take into account eating habits that may affect cholesterol levels or cholesterol-lowering medication. However, there is no doubt that exercise is highly beneficial in preventing diseases that develop with age such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, and it is important to get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week in order to achieve this.