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Exercise for a Healthy Heart

Millions of Americans suffer from different forms of heart disease, but there is a lot that can be done to improve your heart's health. You might just be seeing symptoms that could indicate a problem, or might have already had a heart attack. Either way, you can make changes that will improve your heart health and give you a longer and more comfortable life.

Sometimes heart disease affects the muscle of the heart or the muscles around the heart. But most heart disease and heart attacks are caused by coronary arterial disease (CAD). This is when plaque builds up in the veins and causes blockages. This condition occurs gradually and might not reveal symptoms until you are having a heart attack. Some blockages can be corrected by surgery, but many people do not receive help in time.

Improve Your Health through Exercise

There are several things you can do to improve your health. It is important to eat a healthy diet and feed your body the nutrients that it needs. A healthy diet cannot be under-emphasized in your overall health. It will help you control other serious conditions that can lead to heart disease. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are sources that can lead to coronary heart disease.

If you have never thought about exercise, you might not realize the health benefits that you can reap from it. It touches all areas of your body, physical as well as mental and emotional. It can help relieve stress, which is sometimes a factor in heart disease. Did you know studies show that exercise aids blood circulation and helps relieve your heart's workload?

Decrease Your Risk of Heart Disease

Doctors feel that regular moderate exercise can decrease your risk of heart disease by one-quarter. Regular physical activity strengthens your heart by making it stronger, and your heart doesn't have to work so hard to pump blood. It also helps to reduce your chances of developing other conditions that can put a strain on your heart. Physical activity can help ward off high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Exercise and activity also help relieve stress and anxiety, which are not good for any of the above conditions. One of the greatest benefits of regular activity is to help control your weight. Obesity is a factor in many health problems. As we become older, we gain mostly fatty tissue, which can lead to health problems.

Even if you have become overweight, it is never too late to change your lifestyle to help you stay healthy. Even a reduction of 10% in your weight can reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol, and the chances of becoming diabetic.

Benefits of Regular Exercise

Federal guidelines recommend moderate exercise for 30 to 60 minutes every day. If this is not possible, shorter times will benefit the heart. You don't have to be involved in very strenuous activities to reap the benefits.

Don't give up or delay starting because you can't exercise for long periods. There are many activities that can help you get the exercise you need. Everyday actions such as housekeeping, gardening, walking stairs or walking the dog are good ways to start.When you go to work or shopping, you could park farther away and count that as exercise. Walking is a very good activity because it helps your circulation and lungs, which reach your whole body.

If you would like to be more active, playing sports and running would be helpful as well as fun. Hiking, biking, and swimming are all great activities that will help strengthen your heart and body. Exercise videos are good for workouts in aerobics and dancing. You should start with easy workouts and build up to more intense sessions as you become stronger.

Choose a Healthy Lifestyle

Having a healthy lifestyle for your heart does not have to be complicated. Just a few changes in your daily activities can help you achieve great progress. Once you get your body in healthy condition you will be able to ward off disease and illness much better.

If you are not sure what exercise to try, consult your doctor to see what would work best for you. Be consistent in your workouts and see your strength and energy return to improve your health and well being.

« Nutrition and Heart Health | Home | Healthy Heart for all Ages »

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