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Activity and Heart Health

Activity and Heart Health

You can give your heart a great gift by taking part in physical activity. Johns Hopkins research suggests that staying active, eating a Mediterranean-style diet, maintaining a normal weight, and quitting smoking should be part of a healthy lifestyle to avoid coronary artery disease and vascular disease.

Not sure how effective simple measures can be?

Over the eight years when more than 6,200 participants were followed, these four lifestyle characteristics significantly decreased the likelihood of dying from any cause by 80%.

Understanding how exercise benefits the heart can be a powerful incentive to exercise and move more.

Here's what you should know:

1. Exercise lowers blood pressure.

Exercise, like beta-blockers, can lower blood pressure and slow heart rate. The main risk factor for heart disease is high blood pressure.

2. The secret to weight management is exercise.

Physical activity, which improves heart health, is important for weight loss, and even more so for maintaining it, says Stewart. This is especially true when combined with a sensible diet. Being overweight puts a strain on your heart and increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.

3. Muscles get stronger with exercise.

Combine aerobic exercise (which may include walking, running, swimming, and other vigorous heart-pumping exercises, depending on your fitness level) with resistance training (weightlifting, strength training) for optimal heart health. These exercises improve the muscles' ability to absorb oxygen from the circulating blood. This reduces the need for the heart, a muscular organ, to work harder to pump more blood to the muscles, regardless of age.

4. Exercise helps you quit smoking.

Smokers often quit as they get healthier. In addition, people who are already physically healthy are less likely to take up smoking, one of the main risk factors for heart disease, because it affects the structure and function of their blood vessels.

5. The onset of diabetes can be delayed or stopped by exercise.

A Johns Hopkins University study found that regular aerobic exercise, such as cycling, brisk walking, and swimming, combined with strength training, can reduce the risk of diabetes by more than 50%. This allows your muscles to process glycogen more efficiently, which, when impaired, can lead to excess blood sugar levels.

6. Exercise relieves stress.

Stress chemicals can put additional strain on your heart. Exercise, whether it's cardio (such as jogging), resistance-based (such as strength training), or flexibility-based (such as yoga), can help you relax and reduce stress.

7. Inflammation is reduced with exercise.

Chronic inflammation is reduced with regular exercise because the body adapts to the demands of exercise in many body systems. This is important to minimize the negative effects of many of the disorders discussed here.

Know your limits and adapt

When the heart is overworked during exercise, pain and other symptoms may occur, such as:

Special attention should be paid to these warning signs. Stop it then. Relax.

Learn how to manage heart-related symptoms you may experience.

If your doctor has prescribed nitroglycerin tablets, keep them handy. Write down what you did and when you noticed the symptoms. Tell your healthcare provider right away if these symptoms are severe or don't go away with activity. Your doctor may give advice about exercise during your regular doctor visit.

Understand your resting heart rate. Also, try to maintain a safe exercise heart rate. Try measuring your heart rate during exercise. This way you can see if your heart is beating safely for your activity. If it's too high, slow down.

Bottom line

Exercises are a great way to pace up your heart health. But it’s also important to understand that too much of anything can cause an adverse effect on your heart.

So, exercise in moderation and take care of your heart.

If you want to learn more about Heart Health, Contact Us now!

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