Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your cardiovascular health. Here are just a few of the ways that exercise can benefit your heart:
- Strengthens the heart muscle: Exercise helps to make the heart muscle stronger, which can improve its efficiency and ability to pump blood throughout the body.
- Reduces the risk of heart disease: Regular exercise can help to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
- Improves circulation: Exercise can help to improve circulation, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the body’s tissues and organs more efficiently.
- Increases oxygen uptake: Regular exercise can increase the amount of oxygen that the body can take in and use during physical activity, improving endurance and overall fitness.
- Reduces inflammation: Exercise can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body, which is linked to many chronic health conditions, including heart disease.
So, what types of exercise are best for your heart? The American Heart Association recommends that adults aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week, along with muscle-strengthening activities at least two days per week. Examples of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise include brisk walking, cycling, and swimming, while vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise might include running, jumping rope, or high-intensity interval training.
Remember, it’s important to choose activities that you enjoy and that you can sustain over time. If you have any concerns or questions about starting an exercise program, talk to your healthcare provider to develop a plan that’s safe and appropriate for your individual needs and abilities.