The heart is a muscle and just like all your other muscles, it needs exercise to stay in shape. When the heart muscle is in good shape, it can effectively pump blood through the body and continue working at optimum efficiency without having to struggle. This is a proven way to stay healthier. Exercising regularly also helps to keep your arteries and blood vessels in good condition. This ensures that you have good circulation, lower cholesterol and safe blood pressure levels.
You don’t have to run a marathon to keep your heart in good shape. A little exercise goes a long way when it comes to your heart. The American Heart Association (AMA) was created in the early 1900’s to advocate heart health and give people reliable information about the heart. According the (AMA), 30 minutes of exercise each day, for at least 5 days a week can improve your heart health and reduce your risk for heart related health problems. If you are not very active, you can even break the 30 minutes up into chunks to make things more manageable.
Getting regular exercise, particularly aerobic exercise is one of the best things that you can do for your heart. The benefits are huge and there are many of them including:
· Reduced risk for heart disease
· Lowered blood pressure
· Healthy cholesterol levels
· Increased energy
· Improved mood
These are just some of the benefits that regular exercise has to offer. If you aren’t exercising at the moment, consult with your doctor before choosing to start. Your doctor can help you plan a safe exercise routine. If you are taking any medications, prescription or over the counter, ask your doctor if you need to make any adjustments to exercise safely.
The American Heart Association recommends you exercise almost every day, but not everyone can keep that pace up. While more is better, anything is still good for you. Don’t worry, if you aren’t very active at the moment, you can gradually build up until you can exercise for a full 20 or 30 minutes straight.
What Type of Exercise Should I Do for My Heart?
You have an endless amount of options. Try not to get overwhelmed. Once you find a starting point and a get a regular routine going, things get easier from there. Anything that makes your heart beat faster is good exercise. Think about your needs and your ability levels.
For example, if you are looking for a low impact workout that is easy on the joints, try walking, swimming or yoga. Aside from the type of exercise you want to focus on, which is typically cardiovascular when it comes to the heart – think about what you’d like to do. Activities that are fun may be easier to stick with.
You should also think about what is the most convenient. Would you like something that you can do anywhere? Do you want to join a gym? What about joining a sports club or team? There are also dancing groups, hiking meetups and lots of other fun activities. The more you enjoy it, the more likely it will bring you lasting results.
Make Sure Every Workout Includes…
Every workout should include a few important phases. The warm-up, workout and a cool down.
Warm Up – slowly bring your heart rate up, stretch and get blood flowing throughout your body. Take it easy for a few minutes to get your body ready for exercise. I like to warm up for at least 10 minutes. This prevents injuries.
Workout – this will be the main part of your workout. Whether it’s a softball game, dancing, walking, swimming or yoga, you will be engaging your cardiovascular system as well as your muscles.
Cool Down – just as the warmup prepared your body for the workout, the cool down prepares your body for rest. You should never just stop after working out, try to slowly bring your heart rate down. This will prevent injuries as well.
How Hard Should You Work?
When you are doing cardio, it’s important not to push yourself too fast. Safe is better than sorry here. Gradually build up when things get too easy and listen to your body. If you are able to perform intense exercise and you really want to push the pace you can. For those who like to run try this – if you want to push what they call a 2K pace, run until you aren’t able to speak in full sentences. This is one way to measure your pace, there are lots of other tricks people use.
Always consult with a doctor before performing any intense workout. You should also seek medical advice if you are not active and you want to begin an exercise routine. Total Home Health Inc. can help you connect with a professional in your area. Contact us so we can get started today!