Research tells us that high levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein), which is “good” cholesterol, has the ability to protect us against heart disease by removing cholesterol from the blood vessels to the liver, where it is processed naturally and expelled from the body. The only catch is that some people with “normal” levels of HDL cholesterol still do get heart disease, probably because the HDL doesn’t reduce inflammation or act as a satisfactory antioxidant.
This dilemma led to research testing the link between exercise and HDL levels. The findings were recently published by the American Physiological Society showing that regularweight training may improve HDL function and therefore protect against heart disease, even for those who are overweight. The article also states that men who didn’t weight train were more likely to have dysfunctional HDL. Ultimately, it said, it is more important to perform strength training regularly than to maintain a “healthy” weight.