It is easy to take one’s heart for granted, but nothing is more vital for life. Everyone needs to take care of their hearts and exercise is one of the best ways to do it. Consider the following information about exercise and the heart when starting an exercise program.
The benefits of exercising for the heart
The heart is always working, but it still needs exercise to stay in shape. Exercise strengthens the heart and cardiovascular system. By increasing the heart’s working capacity, circulation is improved and the body can use oxygen more efficiently. With this greater capacity, the heart does not have to work at maximum capacity nearly as much and thus suffers less strain.
Physical exercise has also been shown lower levels of bad cholesterol, reduce inflammation of the arteries and help keep blood vessels flexible and open.
Of course, being overweight is one of the biggest enemies of a healthy heart. Exercise burns calories while building muscle mass. Both are essential for weight loss.
All of this aids the heart while it lessens the risk of developing high blood pressure and reduces it in those who already have it.
Exercising for the heart
Anyone setting out to do more exercise for the heart or any other purpose needs to understand the different types of exercise. There is stretching to prepare muscles for activity and reduce the risk of injury. Strengthening, which primarily builds and tones muscles and cardiovascular (often referred to as aerobic) activity that lasts for a longer period at a lower intensity using larger muscle groups.
While all these exercises should be performed to some extent and help the heart as well as the rest of the body, cardiovascular activities have the most benefits for one’s heart. The American Heart Association and other respected organizations recommend 30 minutes a day or more of moderately-intense exercise at least 3-4 days a week.
Some good exercises
Running is one of the best exercises for people since it burns a lot of calories, does not take a lot of equipment and is easy to do. All one really needs is the right shoes, although music certainly can help too!
Bicycling is another excellent exercise. It provides a good steady calorie burn while increasing endurance. It can be performed outdoors while going somewhere or indoors while watching TV.
Swimming is great since one uses the entire body. It requires a lot of endurance and a pool but provides a great return.
Walking and hiking are also nice exercises, particularly for those just starting out. However, those doing these exercises need to make sure they are putting some oomph into them, or they will not see much of a return.
Of course, any sports that produce an increased heart rate will provide good exercise benefits too.
Science is not anywhere close to providing a good heart replacement so everyone needs to take care of the ones they have. There are different aspects to heart care and exercise is certainly one of the most important. Exercise and heart can never be separated if one wants to have a long life.