Triglycerides are a type of fat that circulates in the blood. A high triglyceride level is a risk factor for not only heart disease, but stroke and pancreatitis as well. The amount of this fat in the blood can be affected by diet, but what about exercise? Research has shown that regular exercise can significantly reduce triglyceride levels. An elliptical trainer provides a convenient workout that can help you maintain healthy blood levels of this fat.
Triglycerides are the end product of digesting and breaking down fats in meals. Some of these fats are made in the body from other energy sources such as carbohydrates. Your level is measured using a common test called a lipid panel. It’s the same blood test that checks LDL and HDL cholesterol levels. The American Heart Association recommends that everyone over the age of 20 should get a lipid panel to measure cholesterol and triglycerides at least every five years.
Since triglycerides are fats in your bloodstream, you can reduce these levels when you exercise because burning fat stored in your body cuts the fat levels in your blood. Normal levels are less than 150 mg/dl, borderline high levels are 150-199 mg/dl, high levels are 200-499 mg/dl, and very high levels are 500 mg/dl and above.
Exercise is effective for lowering triglyceride levels as long as you do it consistently. These are fats that circulate in the blood bound to particles called lipoproteins that also carry cholesterol. As they circulate, tissues pick up some of these triglycerides to use for energy or store them to use as fuel later.
Moderate intensity aerobic exercise of long duration will burn fat in your bloodstream as fuel. Therefore a lower intensity high duration workout is effective at lowering these fat levels as it uses them for energy. Resistance training has also been shown to reduce triglyceride levels. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1984 showed that women and men had a significant decrease in triglycerides after weight training on a regular basis.
You can design an exercise routine that is effective at reducing triglycerides by incorporating both low intensity aerobic exercise of long duration, and the anaerobic exercise involved in weight training, by using an elliptical trainer. One way to do this is by starting out with a low intensity exercise with low strides per minute at a moderate resistance level. After exercising at this level for about 30 minutes, you could switch to a high intensity interval training routine, rotating between one minute sessions of high intensity with high strides per minutes and high resistance, with 2 minute sessions of low resistance and low strides per minute for recovery. Strongly engaging the moveable arms during the high intensity sessions will enhance your workout. This high intensity interval workout could last for 10-15 minutes, with a 10 minute “cool down” session. This would make your entire workout last 50-55 minutes.
Maintaining healthy triglyceride levels is important if you want to avoid heart disease, stroke, or pancreatitis. You can design a workout that is effective at keeping these levels in the healthy range with a new or refurbished elliptical.