One of the biggest risk factors for heart disease is poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle. While it is easy to address both of these issues and lead a more heart healthy lifestyle, it will mean you have to think more about your food choices and that you will have to get up off the couch or away from the computer and get moving.
One of the many benefits of getting into a more active lifestyle is that regular exercise, especially aerobics, has many benefits including weight loss and strengthening your heart and cardio vascular system. Exercising will also help your body utilize oxygen better and improve your circulation – all of these benefits will lead to increased energy levels and a more healthy heart.
Here are some other benefits you’ll reap if you add exercise into your routine on a regular basis:
- Lower your blood pressure
- Increase your endurance
- Your muscle tone and strength will improve
- You will strengthen your bones (great for women who may be facing osteoporosis)
- Reduce body fat
- Reach a healthy weight
- Reduce stress
- Lower your tension, anxiety and help alleviate depression
- Bump up your self esteem
- Improve your sleep patterns
If you’ve lead a sedentary lifestyle, you will want to speak with your doctor before you jump into any type of exercise routine. He or she may offer you ideas on how to get started in an exercise routine – it will be best to start out, slow – start with a walk around the neighborhood rather than jumping into a 5K, for example. While you certainly need to do enough exercise to get your heart rate up, you don’t want to push yourself so hard that you injure yourself.
Stretching exercises are great to lengthen and strengthen your muscles and to increase your flexibility and range of motion. Swimming is a great way to get into an aerobic routine because in the water the buoyancy will take stress of your joints and help you get in shape without putting undue stress on your muscles. If you don’t have access to a swimming pool, buy a good pair of sneakers and begin a walking routine; walk fast enough to get your heart pumping and start out with alternating slow strolls and short bursts of walking. Add time to your walking every day to increase endurance.
To reap the most benefits from working out, you should work your way up to at least 30 minutes of an aerobic workout three to four times a day. You should give your body time to regenerate itself between workouts but if you have access to a swimming pool you can alternate between in-water and on-ground exercises.
Making this change in your daily routine, along with eating more fruits and vegetables and cutting back on saturated fats will strengthen your heart and improve your lifestyle.