Pumping some iron can help lower your cholesterol. A 2009 study from West Virginia University showed that people who lifted weights lowered their bad LDL cholesterol by about 5 percent. If your cholesterol levels are high, talk to your doctor about starting a weight-lifting program to help lower your levels. Start weight lifting in 20-minute segments up to four times a week. Gradually increase the amount you lift and the duration of your workout.
Grab a pair of 5- or 10-lb. dumbbells. Sit on a bench or stand up tall. Hold both arms at your sides, with a dumbbell in each hand. Lift both dumbbells up, bending from the elbow. Try to reach your shoulders. Turn your wrists slightly so that the dumbbells are parallel to the floor. Slowly lower your arms. Do 10 repetitions.
Bend over from the waist while standing. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, and bring your arms up along the side of your body. Keep your elbows bent at a right angle, so that the weights point down. Unbend your elbows, lifting your forearms and the weights back, until your arms are completely extended. Slowly bend your elbow back to a 90-degree angle. Do 10 repetitions.
Lunges Work Your Quads, Hamstrings
Hold one dumbbell in each hand; stand with your feet together. Take a long step forward with one leg, bending at the knee. Keep the other leg in place but slowly lower it to the ground. Straighten your knee and step back into place. Do 10 repetitions. Repeat, stepping forward with the other leg.
Stand with your feet together and rest the dumbbells on your upper thighs. Keep a firm grip on each dumbbell with your hands. Step to the side as far as you can with one leg and bend from the knee. Unbend the knee and bring your feet together again. Repeat 10 times, and then switch to the other leg.