Heart Health

Since we are coming up on February, and February is Heart Health Month, I decided I would talk about the benefits of exercise on the heart.
February 1, 2019 is National Wear Red Day to raise awareness in the fight against heart disease.

Exercise for a Healthy Heart
A sedentary (inactive) lifestyle is one of the top risk factors for heart disease. Fortunately, it’s a risk factor that you can do something about. Regular exercise, especially aerobic exercise, has many benefits. It can:

  • Strengthen your heart and cardiovascular system
  • Improve your circulation and help your body use oxygen better
  • Improve your heart failure symptoms
  • Reduce cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce inflammation in the arteries
  • Helps keep blood vessels flexible and open
  • Increase energy levels so you can do more activities without becoming tired or short of breath
  • Increase endurance
  • Improve muscle tone and strength
  • Improve balance and joint flexibility
  • Strengthen bones
  • Help reduce body fat and help you reach a healthy weight
  • Help reduce stress, tension, anxiety, and depression
  • Boost self-image and self-esteem
  • Improve sleep
  • Make you feel more relaxed and rested
  • Make you look fit and feel healthy

AHA Recommendation
At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 150
At least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75; or a combination of the two
Moderate to high intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 or more days per week for additional health benefits

What if I know I won’t be able to make it for 30 minutes?
Something is always better than nothing! And everyone has to start somewhere. Even if you’ve been sedentary for years, today is the day you can begin to make healthy changes in your life. If you don’t think you’ll make it for thirty minutes, set a reachable goal for today. You can work up toward your overall goal of thirty minutes by increasing your time as you get stronger. Don’t let all-or-nothing thinking rob you of doing what you can every day.