Exercise for a Healthy Heart
Why Exercise is Necessary for a Healthy Heart?
The heart is the center of your cardiovascular system which gets stronger and healthier with an active lifestyle but an inactive lifestyle is the top risk factor for the heart disease. Exercise is the best way to be active. It makes your heart stronger. Exercise help the heart to pump more blood with each heartbeat which delivers more oxygen to your body, and with more oxygen your body and heart works efficiently.
Exercise also help in the maintenance of your body weight, with proper diet combined with a regular exercise you can easily lose weight.
Exercise also lowers the blood pressure and reduces the levels of LDL which is the bad cholesterol. Rise in the level of bad cholesterol can block the arteries which is by the deposition of fats. The arteries supply blood to the heart, but if there is any blockage in the arteries then the blood might not flow well to the heart and this might cause the heart attack. But with exercise it increases the levels of HDL which is the good cholesterol, which protects your heart from clogging arteries caused by the deposition of fats. Thus exercise is very necessary to have a healthy heart.
Types of exercise that are best for a healthy heart
For a healthy heart, Exercises are divided into three main categories.
• Aerobic exercise or Cardio
• Stretching, flexibility, and balance
• Strength training or Resistance training
1) Aerobic Exercise
Aerobic exercise is one of the most important type of exercise that one should do on a daily basis. It improves your blood circulation . It makes you breathe more deeply, it also raises the heart rate which pumps more blood. Thus reducing the risk of any heart disease.
Example – Brisk Walking, swimming, jumping ropes, cycling (click here to know more about how it helps), Running, jogging, playing tennis and much more.
In these exercises you move fast enough to raise your heartbeat so that you breathe harder and hence the heart easily pumps more blood. But if you have a joint-problem, choose a low-impact activity such as cycling or walking.
You should do aerobic exercise for about 30 minutes at least five days a week.
The stretching don’t directly contribute to your heart health. It only helps in making your body flexible and free from any joint pain or cramps thus promoting musculoskeletal health.
After stretching you’ll become more flexible and this flexibility plays an important role for you being able to maintain aerobic exercise and resistance training. You should stretch after you’ve warmed up or finished exercising.
While stretching make sure your movements are balanced and slow. Avoid quick movements. Try to hold each stretch for at least 20 to 30 seconds.
Example– Hamstring Stretch, Calf stretch against the wall, quadriceps stretch, knee pull, groin stretch, calf stretch on stairs, overhead arm pulls, behind back arm raise, side bends, double shoulder circle, leg circle.
3) Strength Training
For people who are obese or carry a lot of fats on their body are more prone to face heart related disease and hence these people are recommended to do strength training to burn that stubborn layer of extra fat thus reducing the risk of heart disease.
Strength training helps in reducing fats and create leaner muscle mass. Also researches show that the combination of aerobic exercise and strength training helps in raising the level of HDL which is the good cholesterol and lower LDL which is the bad cholesterol.
Example- You can use weights such as hand weights, dumbbells or bar bells, resistance bands, or your own body weight for this such as push-ups, squats, and chin-ups. You can do these exercises 2-3 times a week.
How Often Should I Exercise and How much?
Aim for at least 150 minutes a week which means exercise for 30 minutes daily for five days a week.
And with time when your body becomes adaptive to those workouts, you can even increase the time period for the workout. But do it gradually and let your body adjust.
Every exercise session should start and end with a warm-up for few minutes. Its not necessary to repeat the exact same exercise daily, You can change your exercise patterns for more fun.
How will I exercise into my busy schedule
Though you should always plan to exercise exactly at the same time every day. But due to the busy schedule sometimes its not possible.
So here are few ways in which you can raise your heart rate even on a busy schedule:-
• Walk more briskly
• Take stairs instead of elevator
• Walk during a coffee break or lunch
• Do housework at the quicker pace
• Walk to work
• Walk to park
• Do yard work
Precautions and tips to consider while exercising
1. Diet and exercise both plays an important role in strengthening the heart health. If you do exercise but don’t follow a healthy diet you might be in a big risk of heart attack or stroke. So diet along with exercise are equally important.
2. If you don’t exercise regularly, don’t go harsh on yourself, start with low impact exercise and then gradually increase your activity level.
3. Wait for at least one and a half hour before beginning the exercise after having a meal
4. Keep an exercise record.
5. Always start your exercise with a five minutes warm-up including stretching.
6. Exercise should be paced and balanced. It should not be too hard for you to perform.
7. Stay hydrated even while exercising. Drink water when you feel thirsty but be careful not to drink too much water. Follow doctor’s guidelines for fluid intake.
8. Don’t exercise if you are not feeling well or have a fever.
9. Stop exercising if you feel overly fatigued or short of breath and experience any chest pain or dizziness.
10. If your exercise regimen is disturbed for few days maybe because of your fever or illness. Start again after you are recovered from your illness with a low-impact exercise or reduced level of activity and then gradually with days increase it.
Exercise along with a proper diet plays an important role for your health. And when it comes to the health of a heart, exercise is a must. It not just keeps your heart healthy by enabling it to pump more blood but it also helps in the weight maintenance, controlling your blood pressure and increasing the levels of good cholesterol.
Start doing exercise with low level and gradually move to the high level. Don’t be too harsh on your body. Let your body adjust with the exercises.Try to choose the fun exercises so that you can enjoy doing them. Have fun doing exercises. Stay healthy and stay fit.😊😊