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  • October 2011
    M T W T F S S

5 Factors Exercise Has on Blood Test Results

Posted by Levine Communications Office on October 28, 2011


The external benefits of exercise — shedding unwanted pounds and building lean muscle — are only part of the equation. The true power of exercise happens internally to your body’s systems, according to Mark Mcdonald, CEO of Venice Nutrition and author of “Body Confidence.” The risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease are measured through blood tests. You can expect changes in your blood levels if you perform regular, moderate exercise, according to Dr. Jennifer Landa, chief medical officer at BodyLogicMD.

Lipid Panel

Four main tests make up the lipid panel: total cholesterol; LDL, low-density lipoprotein – L for lousy or bad – cholesterol; HDL, high-density lipoprotein – H for happy or good – cholesterol; and triglycerides. Changes in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol are variable, and the levels most impacted by exercise are triglycerides and HDL, according to Landa. A highly valuable ratio is triglycerides to HDL, because it is a marker of insulin resistance. It should be kept below 2. Triglycerides are reduced and HDL increases with exercise, affecting the triglyceride-to-HDL ratio positively, says Landa. Exercise also helps to change the LDL particle size from small to a more desirable, large size, thus decreasing the likelihood of LDL oxidation and plaque formation.

Blood Sugar and A1C

Ideally, fasting glucose should be between 80mg/dl and 90mg/dl, according to Mcdonald. Since exercise uses sugar and fat for energy, the more consistent you are with exercise, the better blood sugar readings you will have. Cardio and strength training help your body move more efficiently, keep your blood sugar in an optimal range, utilize excess glucose and balance your two blood sugar hormones, glucagon and insulin. Landa says the hemoglobin A1C is even more important than a one-time fasting glucose reading. It is an average of blood sugar readings over a few months. A level over 5.7 percent poses significant risk for developing diabetes or pre-diabetes. A1C responds to a combination of resistance training and cardio.

C-Reactive Protein

C-reactive protein, a protein found in the blood, is a marker of inflammation. C-reactive protein is a risk factor for diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, according to Landa. Exercise causes a significant reduction in C-reactive protein levels, showing that exercise reduces inflammation.


Fibrinogen is part of the blood-clotting cascade that leads to the formation of blood clots, according to Landa. Fibrinogen is a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease. The relationship between fibrinogen and cardiovascular disease is similar to the relationship between cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. Fibrinogen is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Exercise is one of the best ways to decrease high levels of fibrinogen, says Landa.


The release of endorphins causes “runner’s high,” the sense of well-being felt after exercise. Increased endorphins result in more balanced hormone levels, says Mcdonald. Consistent exercise, cardio and strength training create a stable environment in your body. This stability triggers steady hormone levels of cortisol, the stress hormone; thyroxin, the metabolism hormone; and estrogen and testosterone, sex hormones that affect mood.




One Response to “5 Factors Exercise Has on Blood Test Results”

  1. 5 Factors Exercise Has on Blood Test Results

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