Valentine’s day just passed by last week, and when it comes to your loved ones, the health of the heart is extremely important. Heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the United States, according to Center for Disease Control (CDC).
A sedentary (inactive) lifestyle is the biggest cause of heart disease. Fortunately, this is something we can change.
Regular exercise can:
- Strengthen your heart and cardiovascular system
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve muscle tone and strength
- Strengthen bones
- Improve oxygen circulation in the body
- Increase your stamina, so you can do more without being fatigued or short or breath
- Help control your weight and aid in weight loss
- Reduce stress, tension, anxiety and depression
- Improve sleep
- Make you feel more relaxed and rested
There is not a single pill in the world that can give you all these benefits. Regular exercise can help you dodge a dangerous bullet – a heart attack and potentially save your life
A structured, supervised exercise program can improve your health and the quality of your life. ALWAYS check with your doctor before you start exercising, especially if you have any medical conditions and / or take prescription medications.
Do’s and Don’ts of Safe Exercise
Generally speaking, we recommend doing aerobic exercise gradually working up to 20-30 minutes, at least 3-4 times/week. The American Heart Association recommends that you work your way up to a point where you can exercise most days of the week.
Call our clinic and we’ll get you started on the right exercise plan for you and help you work your way up to a safe, effective exercise program.
Be sure to include a warm-up and a cool-down to your exercise routine.
- Warm-up. This helps your body to raise it’s core temperature to “get ready” to exercise. As a result, your heart can function more effectively and muscles are more pliable and contract better. This decreases your chances of injury. When warming up, try stretching or starting out with 5-10 minutes at a lower intensity.
- Begin your exercise. For best results, monitor your heart rate and intensity. Don’t overdo it. If you’re not sure how to monitor these factors and pace yourself, call our clinic to schedule an appointment and we will help you every step of the way.
- Cool-down. End your exercise with 5-10 minutes of decreased intensity of exercise (like walking). It helps your body and heart recover from the workout. It also helps bring your heart rate and blood pressure back down to resting levels.
Now that you know why exercise is so important for a healthy heart and how to exercise safely, I will share precautions that you need to take when taking part in an exercise program. Check back next week for that topic!
Thanks for reading!