Exercise and Heart Health a Life Giving Marriage
by: Nicholas Webb
Most people get their health out of a bottle these days, be it a bottle of vitamins or pharmaceuticals. However, with a little effort and dedication you really can get a hold on your life, turn it round and live it to the full!
If you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease or are at risk of developing heart disease regular exercise is essential for the health of your heart, body and mind. In fact, aerobic exercise and heart health really do go hand in hand.
With busy lifestyles and lack of time, regular use of home equipment, such as a treadmill, an elliptical trainer, a stationary cycle, a stair-climber, etc. is becoming increasingly popular. These items are now precision health giving apparatus that really can help get you in shape. Gyms are also getting more and more members, but often people slack off because of time restraints. If this is you, working out at home may be the answer for you �
However, before jumping into your gym shoes talk to your doctor about your desires and objectives. Your doctor may be able to give you some useful insights you didn’t consider as well as coaching from a medical point of view. If your doctor gives you the OK, try to work some exercise into your daily routine. The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests, for example, that patients start by walking five minutes a day, then increasing gradually to 30 minutes over several weeks. Walking is a wonderful way to start, as it is low impact, you need no special equipment, and it costs nothing. Swimming may be another good choice. This type of exercise is called aerobic training that involves large muscle groups, such as the legs, and keeps your heart rate pumping for a set amount of time. Unless there are deformities of the heart muscle, aerobics and heart health are often found together and not only does the heart benefit, there are other advantages too.
Aerobic Exercising and Heart Health
As you can see, take it slow initially; it’s really not necessary to sign up at the local gym or aerobic class. Although, after some time you might want to do just that.
Depending on where you live walking or swimming may not be an option. In such cases, you may like to consider a piece of home aerobic equipment such as a treadmill, stationary cycle or elliptical trainer. However, before purchasing a home trainer consider whether you will really use it. If the answer is yes, best get the best home aerobic equipment you can afford. Your heart will thank you.
Lack of exercise and heart disease
The American Heart Association has now added “lack of exercise” to the list of major risk factors for heart disease. The other risk factors are smoking, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol.
Exercise not only helps fight heart disease and gets you in shape, but if you live a sedentary lifestyle, a regular exercise routine can also:
- help control high blood pressure without using drugs,
- reduce the risks of type II diabetes,
- help prevent osteoporosis,
- improve your general wellbeing and help fight depression, anxiety and stress,
- greatly help to lose weight
Those are just some of the benefits of doing regular exercise. I wanted to make a list of some of the disadvantages, but I can’t think of any!
In an ideal world, in order to get the best results possible you should exercise three to five times a week for 30-60 minutes within your target heart rate. But even normal day to day events, such as taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking to work, walking the dog, or gardening can help. You can do many things to increase physical activity during the day; just try thinking about what you can do. The benefits are well worth the effort.
Another thing that has proven to be effective is cross training. In cross training you participate in 2 or more different types of exercise during the week, for instance: Monday walking, Tuesday treadmill, Wednesday swimming, Thursday elliptical training, etc. You may also like to insert some strengthening exercises too, such as weight lifting.
Not only will cross training help to tone your whole body, it will help stop boredom setting in. Many people stop training not because they don’t have the time (that’s the reason they don’t start), but because they get bored. If you can arrange a routine where you do something different each day, it is going to be difficult to get bored.
So, talk with your doctor and start now! Once you notice the result, nothing will stop you. You’ll loose weight, be more toned and fit, will have a sharper outlook on life and, oh yes I almost forgot, you’ll live longer!