According to the Center For Disease Control, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. While medications exist to ease heart-related problems, one of the most effective ways to improve your heart health is with better exercise habits.
How Exercise Is Connected To Heart Health
Your body is a delicate balance of systems which rely on each other to perform properly. When we exercise, the various systems in our bodies work at a higher level and create better efficiency in how systems like the cardiovascular system operate. On the other side, those who have a sedentary lifestyle double their risk of heart disease as their cardiovascular system is not being exercised.
To help clarify how exercise is strongly connected to your heart health, picture this: Your body has a network of veins and arteries which carry your blood to and from your heart. When you sit for extended periods of time, your heart beats more slowly and the blood moves more slowly through your body. This slow movement allows for things like blood clots, cholesterol buildup, hardened arteries, and other cardiovascular diseases.
But when you raise your heart rate with exercise, your heart pumps blood more quickly, allowing it to push the blood through your body at a faster rate. This helps your body to refuse the development of cholesterol buildup and other side effects of being sedentary.
Focus On Aerobic Workouts For Heart Health
While strength-based and flexibility workouts are helpful in other health matters, aerobic workouts target the cardiovascular system more completely. By improving the cardiovascular system overall, you can have a direct impact on your heart and improve it more quickly with aerobic exercises.
These high-energy, aerobic movements encourage the body to speed up the delivery of oxygen-rich blood to the muscles. The target heart rate range for aerobic exercise is within 55% to 85% of your maximum heart rate. Increased blood flow helps improve your body’s cardiovascular system to greatly lower your risk of heart disease.
Create A Workout Schedule For Steady Improvement
A key factor in improving your heart health is regular exercise. Sporadic workouts may have a short-term impact on your blood pressure. But overall, you will need to commit to a workout schedule for steady and permanent improvements in your heart health to be made.
Ease into new routines to reduce the risk of injury. Beginners should shoot for:
- 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week
- 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week
You don’t have to do any particular exercise to fulfill these exercise requirements. If you aren’t a treadmill runner, then try using an elliptical or exercise bike. If you like more gym class-style workouts but want to workout at home, try a complete fitness program like iFit®. Whatever you end up choosing, make sure you do it consistently so you can support your heart health.