Exercising your way to a healthier heart
You’ve probably been told that exercise is important for your heart’s health, and for good reason.
Doctors recommend regular, aerobic exercise to everyone. However, for people who are at risk for heart-related health issues, it is even more important to exercise.
See also: Tips for reducing stress levels
A nutritious diet and exercise are both equally important for your heart’s health.
There is a direct link between being sedentary, or not exercising at all, and mortality. On the other hand, beginning an exercise program can decrease the risk of heart-related health problems dramatically.
How Much Should I Exercise?
Health experts recommend about 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week, which averages out to 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week.
You can also exercise for longer or shorter periods of time, but aim for a total of 150 minutes per week.
In a recent survey, the CDC determined that only 20.6 percent of the group surveyed met the recommended requirements for aerobic activity. While many people think that fitting exercise into their schedule sounds too hard, it is doable.
If you can find time to squeeze in your favorite television show, you can find time to fit in a session of heart healthy exercise. If you want to, you can even watch TV while you bicycle or use the treadmill if you have the right setup. (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cdc-80-percent-of-american-adults-dont-get-recommended-exercise/)
What is aerobic Exercise?
Any activity that uses your large muscle groups and causes your body to use more oxygen during the activity than while resting is considered an aerobic activity.
This can include anything from bicycling to walking. Exercise strengthens your heart by causing it to work a little harder, building up strength in the muscle and increasing your heart’s volume. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_exercise)
She knows has an article on 5 easy exercises you can do to improve your heart’s health and start adding to the minutes you exercise each week. (http://www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/814921/5-best-exercises-to-improve-heart-health-1)
They include swimming and interval training. Swimming is especially great for people who find that typical exercise hurts their joints.
There is less impact on your knees, ankles, and hips when you are in the water, but you can still get a great aerobic workout in the pool.
Why is Exercise Good for Your Heart?
When you spend time exercising, your heart gets stronger. The heart is a muscle, just like your bicep.
When you exercise your arms, your biceps get stronger; when you exercise your heart, your heart gets stronger.
A strong heart doesn’t have to struggle to pump blood, resulting in lower blood pressure. Low blood pressure is one sign of heart health.
Why Worry About High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a risk factor for developing heart disease. Having high blood pressure for a short time is not as big of an issue, but it is important to get it under control quickly.
The longer your body struggles with high blood pressure, the more likely you are to suffer from a stroke, a heart attack, and kidney disease.
Maintaining healthy blood pressure is important for your heart’s health. By exercising regularly, you are helping your heart maintain a lower blood pressure, and you are helping prevent heart disease.
Other Benefits of Exercise
Not only will exercising help lower your blood pressure, but it has also been shown to lower triglyceride levels and increase good cholesterol in your body.
Triglycerides are fatty substances that can build up inside arteries and cause increased blood pressure and slow the flow of blood to the rest of your body.
Lowering triglycerides will improve your overall heart health and reduce the risk of a heart attack. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myocardial_infarction)
To keep your heart pumping along the best it can, start making time to exercise now if you aren’t already. Start small if you have to, but get up and do something.
If you start a new exercise program, be sure to check with your doctor to make sure that you don’t overextend yourself. Even going for a walk after dinner is a great first step.
Remember: to keep your heart healthy, stick to an exercise program where you get at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity at least 5 times per week. Your heart will love you for it.