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The Complete Guide to Physical Activity for Optimal Heart Health

Exercising regularly stands as the key strategy in keeping your heart healthy. Yes, your heart is a muscle and like any other muscle of your body your heart also needs the daily dose of exercise to stay in shape.

When it’s exercised, the heart pumps more oxygenated blood through the body. When it’s exercised the heart starts working at its optimal efficiency and with no or little strain. Regular exercise in moderate amount also aids in keeping the arteries and blood vessels nimble and flexible, ensuring uninterrupted blood flow. There is hardly any doubt that exercise stands as that ultimate key in enhancing heart health and in preventing heart diseases.

A growing number of research results and statistical data link physical activity and reduced risk of heart disease. Let’s take a look at aging, exercise & heart disease – Usually with age people become less active.

 The American Health Association (AHA) estimates

On the other hand; the National Center for Health Statistics found, about 1 in 3 adults who visited a doctor in 2010, were advised to start an exercise program. That’s clearly a 10% increase from 2000.

Physical activity helps in preventing bone loss, in increasing muscle strength and also helps in improving balance and coordination. Moreover studies also reveal that a moderate amount of exercise reduces the risk of age related cardiovascular disease.

Findings from CDC – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that for people with heart disease regular exercise can reduce

For people without any particular type of heart complaint moderate amount of regular exercise can reduce the chance of developing heart disease  
The fact is thus tested, proven and etched in red that staying active is an important element in preventing stroke and heart diseases.

In order to improve your overall heart health AHA suggests at least

Or

Or

For Lowering Blood Pressure and Cholesterol AHA recommends

When it comes to heart health any physical activity that may make you move your body and help you burn some calories can help. It may feel a bit intimidating to start an exercise regimen however as you get going, you’ll find that moderate exercising pays off.

Regular exercise regime may help you in

So, how do you start exercising?

Before you simply start walking or jogging. Think about what you would like to do. Also take a closer look at your fitness level. Do you want to work out on your own? Or would you like to continue with a trainer? Do you want to exercise at gym or at home? Consider all these aspects before planning any exercise regime.  Most importantly; check in with your cardiologist to make sure that you’re ready for doing all the activities which you have in mind

So, what are the particular types of exercises, which may help in keeping your heart healthy?

A perfect and well thought out exercise plan for complete heart health should include:

Aerobic/cardio exercises: Jogging and running are few examples of cardio exercise. The idea is simple – you have to literally move fast to breathe harder and to raise your heart rate and still should be able to talk to someone when exercising. You can also choose some impact activity like hiking and swimming.

Stretching:  It will make the muscles more flexible. Do some stretching exercises after warming up session or after you finish exercising. Remember; stretching should not hurt so stretch gently.

Strength training: Strength exercises are best for flexibility and overall stamina. You may use resistance bands, weights or you may use your own body weight (yoga) for strength training.

According to the Cardiologists in Huntington Beach the simplest and perhaps the most positive change that you may make in improving your heart health is to start walking.

So, what if you can’t make it to the time goal?

Well; at least something is better than nothing! So; when it comes to exercise even a little bit performed on a regular basis goes a long way. AHA recommends a regular exercise regime for 30 minutes/ day for 5 days a week will improve your heart health. For your ease you may even break it up in quick 10-minute sessions, three times a day.

Takeaway – Let’s face this; you have to start somewhere. You can start small and slowly work up to increase your time. Do not miss to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine. Also sit with your cardiologist to learn the signs and symptoms of heart trouble during exercise.

Author
Dr. Chane

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