Fresh out of the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease lab is new insight suggesting exercise mechanizes cardiovascular health by altering LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol) particle shape, thus lowering cardiovascular disease risk.

Here’s how. Smaller, denser LDL particles (of fat) are more dangerous than their larger, puffier counterparts for rudely wedging themselves into arterial crevices and attaching to arterial walls. Larger, puffier ones tend to lazily meander and bounce off the same walls. Exercise appears to reshape small LDL, but it needs to be regular to catalyze the mechanism.

The next time you are on the treadmill, smile knowing how all the fun your LDL beach balls are having is making your other LDL want to join the party.