Since heart disease is the number one killer in humans, and a major health problem in the U.S., its important to treat our hearts kindly with food and exercise, avoiding the things that can cause heart disease at all costs.
Do a regular and simple exercise for a healthy heart
Not only is an inactive lifestyle one of the major risks for heart disease, it is detrimental for other problems such as obesity, lung function, muscle strength, bone health and so much more.
Regular exercise such as running, aerobics and strenuous sports can help:
- Strengthen your heart
- Help circulation
- Increase energy
- Improve mind activity
- Lower blood pressure
- Lose weight
- Increase endurance
- Strengthen bones
- Improve muscle tone
- Improve sleep
- Help self-image
- Keep you fit and slim
Pick the best cardio exercises you can do
Before you start exercising vigorously, make certain that you don’t overdo it, because it will limit your ability to work out more frequently, which is optimum.
Building up to steady activities such as running for 20 to 30 minutes strengthens not only your cardiovascular system, it uses the large muscle groups adding strength, it improves your lung capacity and your bodies ability to use oxygen. To gain the best benefits from a cardio workout, the goal should be at least a half an hour or more, 3 to 4 times per week.
Good cardio exercises:
- Brisk walking
- Jumping rope
- Cross country skiing
What every exercise session should include
A warm up to get your body ready for strenuous exercise, including stretching, range of motion activities gaining an increase in body heat and heart rate slowly.
Conditioning, which is the actual physical exercise period.
Cool down, which allows your body to cool down slowly, and return to its resting heart and blood pressure rates. This can be achieved by slowing down the intensity of your activity, and stretching afterwards to avoid stiff/sore muscles.
Everyone who is just beginning an exercise regime, or even seasoned athletes need to be cautious of over-exercising, or getting over zealous – a good guideline is:
- Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity
- Don’t eat immediately after, wait at least 1 to 2 hours
- Don’t over consume water while exercising
- Take that 5 minute warm up and include stretching
- Exercise at a steady pace, so that talking is not difficult
- Make sure to cool down
The biggest issue with starting an exercise regime is that you stick to it – over exercising can cause injury and can be very discouraging.
Start an exercise journal that will help keep you on track, and find an exercise ‘friend’ that will help you stay motivated.
Explore exercise routines that you will enjoy, so that you are more likely look forward to it, and find one that fits in with your schedule.
Plan a specific time each day to attend to your body – and heart, and be sure that you plan a variety of routines to avoid boredom.
Try to start an exercise routine that doesn’t cost a lot of money to begin with. You might find that running or swimming are your favorite form of cardio, so spending cash on a bicycle might be a waste. Wait until you’ve found your niche before spending cash.
Try to exercise indoors when the weather is bad, so you won’t lose momentum. Extreme temps can mess with your circulation and make breathing more difficult, so know what the weather is like before heading outdoors to exercise.
Drink plenty of water, to stay hydrated. Check with a physician or physical trainer about the guidelines on how much fluid you should consume during an exercise routine.
And by all means, avoid hot and cold showers after a cardio workout – they put excess strain on your heart.
Common sense plays a big role in getting ‘heart healthy’ and so does a good cardio workout book. Pick one up at your local bookstore!
You’re on your way to a healthier you – so what are you waiting for?