How to Improve your Heart Health with Exercise. How Much Should You Exercise? How Often? Remember your heart is a muscle, and it needs exercise. It will get stronger and healthier if you lead an active life. It’s never too late to start exercising. You can start by taking a brisk walk for 30 minutes a day. Once you get going, you’ll find it pays off. People who don’t exercise are almost twice as likely to get heart disease as people who are active.
Regular exercise improves your Heart Health:
- It burns calories
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces LDL “bad” cholesterol
- Boost HDL “good” cholesterol
Are you ready to get started exercising? First, think about what you’d like to do and how fit you are. Second, what sounds like fun? Third, would you prefer to work out on your own, with a personal trainer, or in a class? Lastly, do you want to exercise at home or a gym?
If you want to do something that you can’t do right now, no problem. Set yourself a goal and build up to it. As an example, if you want to run, start by walking and then add some jogging into your walks. Slowly start running for more extended periods of time.
And don’t forget to ask your doctor if it’s OK to exercise. Furthermore, he will make sure you’re ready for whatever activity and will let you know about any limits on what you can do.
Types of Exercises
- Cardio is great for a healthy heart: Some examples are running, jogging, and biking. They are perfect for elevating your heart rate and makes you breathe harder. You should be able to talk to someone while you’re doing it. If not, you are pushing too hard. If you have joint problems (such as me), choose a low-impact activity, like swimming (it’s excellent and fun also).
- Stretching will help you become more flexible if you do it a couple of times a week. Stretch before and after you’ve finished exercising. Stretch easily – it doesn’t have to hurt.
- You can use weights, resistance bands, or your body weight (yoga, for instance). Try for 2 to 3 times a week. It allows your muscles to recover for a day between sessions.
How Much Should You Exercise to Improve your Heart Health? How often?
- At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity (such as brisk walking) at least five days a week (150 minutes a week). If you’re just starting, you can build up to that.
- Eventually, you’ll be able to make your workouts longer and more challenging. Gradually build up, so your body has a chance to adjust.
- While you work out, start off slow for a few minutes at the beginning and end of your workout. This way, you’ll warm up and cool down each time.
- You don’t have to do the same exact thing every time. It’s a lot more fun if you change it up.
Heart Health Exercise Precautions
- You’ll probably be able to workout with no problem if your doctor says you can. Pay attention to how you feel while you’re working out.
- If you have pain or pressure in your chest or the upper part of your body, have trouble breathing, have a very fast or uneven heart rate, feel a little dizzy, lightheaded, break out in a cold sweat, or very tired, stop and get immediate medical help!
- Your muscles will be mildly sore for a day or two after your workout (especially at first). It’s because during an exercise your muscles get stretched out. It fades when the body gets used to it. Soon, you’ll like how you feel when you’re finished with your work out.
Safety first while you exercise
- Although moderate exercise is safe for most people, it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor before starting a work out program. Anyone over 65 should speak with a doctor before exercise.
- Start slowly, and gradually increase exercising.
- Stop exercising if you experience severe pain, especially in your chest pain, or difficulty breathing. Speak with your doctor about these symptoms before resuming with exercising.
- People who tend to have high anxiety or panic attacks may have an episode during exercise. It’s because of the buildup of certain body chemicals (such as lactic acid) from exercising. If you experience any problems during exercise, talk with your doctor.
Tips for being Active to Improve your Heart Health
- It’s difficult to be active when you feel depressed or anxious or have a mental health problem. Physical activity helps you to feel better, so do your best to find a way to be active. Start with small steps, and build up from a few minutes a day.
- Start with simple exercises, such as walking, bicycling, swimming, or jogging. Don’t overdo it.
- Warm up for about 5 minutes before you start exercising. You can walk around, move your arms and legs, and do muscle stretches.
- Try the talk-sing test to see whether you’re exercising at the right pace. If you can talk during exercise, you’re doing okay. If you can sing during exercise, it’s okay to exercise a little faster or harder. When you can’t talk, you are probably exercising too hard. Slow down some.
- Cool down for a period of 5 to 10 minutes after you exercise. Doing some stretching exercises during your cooldown is okay.
- Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise.
Make daily activities as part of your exercise program improving your Heart Health.
- Walk to work, around the block, or do errands.
- Mow the lawn, rake leaves, or shovel snow.
- Do house chores. Vacuum or sweep around the house.
- Play with your children (or grandchildren), or walk the dog.
Try your best to work up to moderate activity slowly. Moderate exercise is like taking a brisk walk, brisk cycling, swimming, or shooting baskets. But any activities-including daily chores that raise your heart rate can count. Find the pace that you are comfortable doing. You don’t have to do it all at once. Try being active in blocks of 10 minutes or more throughout your day and week.
If you have problems exercising on your own, ask someone to exercise with you or join an exercise group or health club.
Exercise is about more than just keeping in shape. It also helps with your emotional and mental health. Therefore, exercise will help to improve your self-esteem, keep your mind off problems, and gives you a sense of control. Furthermore, people who are fit have less anxiety, depression, and stress than people who are not active.
Research indicates that exercise can help specific mental health problems. Exercise may help prevent depression from coming back (relapse) and improve symptoms of mild depression.
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