According to researchers in France, doing regular exercise can improve a person's cholesterol levels, step aerobics may give a particular boost to the "good" HDL cholesterol that protects against heart diseases,their small study showed that although both step aerobics and traditional, step-less aerobics classes improved women's overall cholesterol, only the steppers saw their HDL rise.
A. Kins and colleagues at Basket University in France, followed 40 sedentary college women over 6 weeks. Fifteen took step aerobics and 12 took traditional aerobic dance, 3 days a week for 40 minutes each day. The rest of the women remained sedentary.Aerobic dance involves continuous movement designed to get the heart rate up. Step aerobics follows the same principle but the movements are performed using a stepping bench. After 6 weeks, both aerobics groups showed significantly greater dips in their total cholesterol levels than the sedentary women did. But only the steppers saw an appreciable rise in their HDL. None of the groups showed body weight changes.
According to Kins the results indicate that step aerobics training is an effective training mode for modifying (cholesterol) profiles in female college-aged students. They offer no explanation for why step aerobics proved more beneficial for HDL levels. However, they point out, these findings are limited since the study group was small and, although the women were told not to change their diets, they might have done so. In addition to this, many more--such as age, smoking and body composition--contribute to a person's cholesterol levels.