Did you know that your heart is a muscle that gets stronger and healthier with an active life? In fact, physical activity is essential for achieving optimal cardiac health! Exercise not only improves your health, it specifically benefits your cardiac health because "active people are nearly half as likely to get heart disease as people who aren't active" (WebMD).
How Exercise Helps
- Improves Lipid Lipoprotein: Decreasing triglycerides, increasing HDL-C levels, and ecreasing LDL-to-HDL ratio
- Improves Glucose Homeostasis and Insulin Sensitivity: Reducing blood pressure and improving autonomic tone (the affect the autonomic nervous system has on your heart rate)
Decreases Blood Coagulation: the blood's ability to clot over wounds, enabling your injuries to heal and stop bleeding
Improves Coronary Blood Flow
Strengthens Cardiac Function
Enhances Endothelial Function: Endothelium is the inner lining of blood vessels; if you have a dysfunction, your blood circulation will become impaired.
Aerobic & Cardio Exercises
Aerobic and cardio exercises include swimming, running, jogging, jumping rope and biking. You should aim for at least 30 minutes of cardio exercise 5 days per week.
"Constant moderate intensity work that uses up oxygen at a rate in which the cardio respiratory system can replenish oxygen in the working muscles" (about.com).
* Disclaimer: The information presented in this piece is in no way intended as a substitute for medical counseling or physician's advice.
Liz is a Seattle University senior majoring in Sports and Exercise. She is interested in nutrition, strength and conditioning and cardiac health. "She says, "I believe that a healthy lifestyle is the best medicine for a healthy body!" Liz has interned at RHF since January 2014.