Cholesterol is a soft, wax-like substance which is found in every cell in our body. It has an important role as it is part of the walls or membranes of each cell and is essential to life. All kinds of metabolic processes that occur at the cellular level require cholesterol, which is why your body manufactures it on its own. It’s the glue that holds the embryo and cell membranes intact, the repair agent for small tears in arterial walls, and the essential nutrient for Vitamin D absorption, brain health, learning, and memory. Exercise has a number of beneficial effects on cholesterol and blood fats (triglycerides). Regular exercise is associated with an increased ability to clear fat particles from the blood stream after meals. This is because the exercised muscles need more energy from fat and thus utilise the fat quickly so that it is cleared from the blood stream. Exercise also affects blood cholesterol levels by increasing HDL levels ("healthy" cholesterol). A higher HDL level is linked with decreased risk of heart disease. Long term exercise programs may also reduce LDL cholesterol levels. It has been established that exercise can also help control weight, diabetes, and high blood pressure all of which would reduce the risk of heart disease.
Not taking exercise is now accepted as a major risk factor for heart disease. Even mild activities, if done daily are good for you.