As many of you know, February is a month dedicated to Heart Health Awareness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 600,000 Americans die of heart disease annually. Also, heart disease is one of the major causes of disability in the United States.
To stop this from happening, people have started to eat foods low in cholesterol, incorporate healthier food in their diets, and change or modify lifestyle factors such as being physically inactive. You can reduce the chance of developing heart disease by doing the correct exercises that are good for your heart.
Some of the exercises that are recommended by cardiologists and experts in the topic are:
Stretch your muscles. No matter the exercise you are going to do, you need to always stretch your arms and legs before and after doing it. This will prevent you from suffering an injury or muscle strain.
Take a walk. This is the physical activity for excellence. Weather it is on a treadmill or on the road, walking will improve the way your body uses oxygen. If you walk 20 minutes each day, you’ll notice that your breathing improves and that you can perform physical activities for a longer period of time. These are the first signs that your heart is becoming stronger.
Aerobic exercises. This type of exercise, according to the WebMD website, “has the most benefits for your heart”. When doing it correctly, aerobics help decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. Jogging, jumping rope, and even climbing the stairs are examples of aerobic exercises. If you want a more interactive experience, fun video games such Wii Sports and Wii Fit Step Aerobics will get your heart rate up and have you entertained for hours. Try this with your kids, they’ll love it!
Cardiovascular exercises. According to the SheKnows website, cardiovascular exercise is “any form of activity that increases your respiratory and heart rate.” Running, swimming, cycling, and circuit training are all examples of this. These exercises help you burn unwanted calories and, by losing weight, you reduce your risk of heart disease. Also, cardiovascular activities make your heart pump faster, becoming stronger with every time you do any of these exercises.
Weight Lifting. The American Heart Association has stated that “resistance training increases muscular strength, endurance, independence, and ability to perform a large range of activities.” Moderate weight training is recommended to some patients to increase their health and fitness. If you are embarking on resistance training for the first time, remember that you have to first consult it with your doctor. He will give you a weight lifting program that fits to your needs.
Exercise schedule. To achieve maximum benefits, you need to do one of the exercises mentioned above at least three to four times a week. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise. A total of 30 minutes a day, five times a week, is an easy formula to remember and accomplish!