Effects of Physical Activity on the Heart
When it comes to a heart-healthy lifestyle, one of the top recommendations for a healthy heart is regular physical activity.
Like most things, when you begin a new physical exercise routine, you have to work your way to the top. If you don’t walk often, you shouldn’t expect to run a mile the first day. You should work your way to a moderate physical activity schedule for at least 30 minutes a day. Always listen to your body and never overdo it to achieve your goal faster.
Physical Activity & Your Heart
Physical activity, aerobic exercise, or cardio raises your heart rate. Cardio activities include anything that makes you breathe harder, like walking and jogging. By understanding your heart rate while you’re resting and doing physical activity, you can potentially help determine a heart condition that may need to be addressed.
Regular physical activity:
- strengthens the heart muscle.
- reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by reducing the LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, and increasing the HDL, or “good” cholesterol. Monitoring and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels can help reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke.
- helps to maintain a healthy weight.
- takes additional stress off the heart and allows better control of other diseases, including diabetes, sleep apnea and high blood pressure.
Inactivity & Your Heart
Why is it important to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine? Individuals with an inactive lifestyle are twice as likely to develop heart disease.
Inactivity can lead to high blood pressure—often with no symptoms—damages the walls of the blood vessels and increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Not only is physical activity good for your heart health; it also has several other benefits, including better mental health and decreased risk of other diseases. If you’re trying to get healthy, physical exercise is a great starting point.
Regular low-impact physical activity is good for most healthy individuals to begin without consulting their doctor; however, if you have an existing heart problem or another serious illness, consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine.