Regular exercise has been shown to lower cholesterol effectively, and healthcare practitioners should recommend their patients follow a regular exercise regime to help control their cholesterol levels.

The most effective and easily manageable exercise recommendations to suggest to patients include brisk walking, running, cycling and resistance training. According to research, a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week can help to lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in the body.

Regular exercise can also help to raise levels of healthy HDL cholesterol, so recommending following a regular, consistent exercise plan to patients can be beneficial to their overall health and well-being. 

What types of exercise to recommend 

Forms of moderate-intensity exercise to recommend to patients wanting to reduce the level of LDL cholesterol in the body can include:

  • Walking: Brisk walking for one hour per day for five days per week has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. Keeping up a brisk walking pace is the most effective and is an excellent alternative exercise to recommend to patients unable to take up running. 
  • Running: A 2019 review in the British Journal of Sports Medicine linked any amount of running to a 27% lower risk of all causes of death. Running has also been shown to help reduce LDL cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.
  • Cycling: Another effective cardiovascular exercise is regular cycling, which has been shown in studies to lower LDL cholesterol levels effectively. 
  • Resistance training: Increasing muscle strength and tone through weight training using dumbells, barbells, kettlebells and weight training machines found in gyms, or using your own bodyweight as resistance, has been shown to lower LDL levels in the blood. Recommended duration is 40-50 minutes three times a week.

Practitioner Development UK Ltd. offers three related courses that can be invaluable to healthcare practitioners working with patients in clinical practice, interpreting and analysing blood test results.

A119 Advanced interpretation of blood results in clinical practice: Online

The A119 programme builds on the fundamentals of interpreting blood tests and boosting understanding of the results. This is an ideal course for healthcare practitioners who routinely perform blood tests and want to develop their skills further. 

The course will review the fundamentals of blood tests and build on applying more advanced interpretations. Healthcare practitioners that would benefit from this course include nurses, advanced nurse practitioners, prescribers, allied health professionals, extended scope, lead service manager, university research and lecturing staff and doctors.

A92 Blood results: long-term conditions & chronic disease management

The Practitioner Development UK Ltd. A92 Blood Results programme is a fully-interactive course delivered by a highly experienced trainer. The course addresses blood results specific to long-term and chronic diseases.

Ideal for nurse practitioners, registered nurses, practice nurses, pharmacists, care home nursing staff and other allied health professionals; this course aims to show you how to:

  • Connect standard blood tests to chronic disease management
  • Link common tests together that underpin systems 
  • Relate standard blood tests to long-term conditions
  • And more…

A67 An introduction to basic haematology and biochemistry investigations: Online

The A67 one-day study course, run over eight hours, provides a firm foundation for understanding actual blood results. It is an ideal first course or basic review for nurses and allied healthcare professionals. 

The course helps to explain the basic principles of haematology, coagulation, and clinical biochemistry tests. It will help healthcare professionals to become familiar with appropriate client care relevant to the tests and what factors can interfere with blood test results.

Participants will also get more insight into interpreting blood test results, understand possible pathological implications of abnormal findings, and explore the impact that lifestyle factors have on haematology, biochemistry, and metabolic investigations.