The role of cardiorespiratory fitness on plasma lipid levels

Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2015 Nov;13(11):1177-83. doi: 10.1586/14779072.2015.1092384. Epub 2015 Oct 5.


Dyslipidemia is a treatable risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Epidemiological studies have demonstrated the importance of treatment for abnormalities in total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and triglycerides. Aside from pharmacotherapy, exercise and cardio-respiratory fitness have been shown to have beneficial effects on decreasing cardiovascular disease risk. Even though previous data regarding the benefits of exercise on plasma lipids have been somewhat conflicting, numerous studies have demonstrated that exercise increases HDL-cholesterol and reduces the triglyceride levels. Also, smaller, more atherogenic LDL particles seem to decrease with increases in cardio-respiratory fitness and exercise, and favorable blood lipid profiles seem to persist longer through the adult life span.

Keywords: cardiorespiratory fitness; dyslipidemia; exercise training; high-density lipoprotein; lipids; low-density lipoprotein; total cholesterol; triglycerides.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Atherosclerosis / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Dyslipidemias / complications
  • Dyslipidemias / therapy*
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Lipids
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol