Exercise for Healthy Heart
Sedentary lifestyle is one of the main contributors to heart disease and therefore it is crucial to be adequately physically active if you want to keep your heart healthy.
Regular exercise promotes heart health in multiple ways including by:
- strengthening your heart muscle
- improving blood circulation
- increasing endurance
- helping you lose weight and maintain a healthy body weight when achieving it
- lowering your blood pressure levels
- helping prevent/control diabetes
- relieving stress
- increasing your energy levels
- improving your sleep
Everyone can benefit from regular exercise and should aim to at least 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise most days of the week. For heart health, aerobic (or cardiovascular), strengthening and stretching exercises are considered to be the most effective but just about every type of exercise is a good choice as long as it is adjusted to your physical fitness and overall health, and as long as you are enjoying it. The key is to get in shape and remain in shape which is why it is crucial that you enjoy the chosen exercise.
If you were not physically active for a longer period of time or if you have a heart failure or other medical condition, you are highly recommended to consult with your doctor before you start to exercise. Walks in the park will do no harm, however, some types of exercises are not safe for people with certain health issues which is why you should get your doctor’s approval first.
Although it is necessarily to be physically active at least 30 minutes most days of the week, it is crucial to start slowly and increase intensity or/and duration of exercise only when you feel fit enough. In addition, there is no need to do the workout in a single session to benefit from it but you can also break it up it into two or three sessions.
Besides making sure that the chosen exercise is appropriate for your fitness level and overall health, you are also highly recommended to always warm up before you start to workout in order to reduce the risk of injury, make sure that you are well hydrated and cool down during the last phase of the exercise. The best way to both warm up and cool down is to lower the intensity of the exercise to the minimum to allow you body to adjust to increased or decreased physical activity. You are also highly recommended to avoid exercising outdoors when it is extremely cold or hot, or if humidity levels are very high.
Stop exercising if you:
- experience shortness of breath
- feel fatigued or dizzy
- have rapid or irregular heartbeat
- have chest pain
If the symptoms do not improve with rest within a few minutes, you are recommended to call the doctor.