Exercise and Heart Health

A sedentary lifestyle is one of the top risk factors for heart disease, but it is a risk factor that you can control. Exercise is an important part of any heart health regimen, but you should talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise program. Cardiovascular exercise, or aerobic activity, strengthens the heart and improves your body's ability to use oxygen. Cardiovascular exercise and strength training are important players in maintaining the health of, and stengthening, your heart.

Cardiovascular Exercise

Aerobic exercise should ideally be a part of your daily routine. The American Heart Association recommends a regular exercise routine consisting of at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity five days a week. After talking to your doctor, remember that you have to start somewhere. Walking is a great cardiovascular activity for anyone new to an exercise routine, and you can break your physical activity into smaller intervals of 10 to 15 minutes throughout the day.

Types Cardiovascular Exercise

  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Swimming
  • Bicycling

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Strength Training

Strength training, combined with regular aerobic activity, can have a profound impact on heart health and mental and emotional health. Strength training often results in a leaner body composition, reducing one's risk of heart disease. As a result, the American Heart Association recommends strength training in conjunction with aerobic exercise as part of healthy heart maintenance.

Benefits of Regular Exercise

  • Strengthened heart and cardiovascular system
  • Improved circulation within your body
  • Increased energy levels and endurance
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Weight and body fat control
  • Improved sleep