Keeping Your Heart In Check With Exercise

Check out some of these key exercises that will keep your heart in great shape.


It seems that we are always trying to maintain our health or improve it. Moreover, those that may be more obese are at a higher risk of high cholesterol, hypertension, heart diseases, etc. Although we often overlook it, our heart is one of the most crucial body parts we need to take care of.


No doubt you need to keep your overall health maintained, considering the fact above, you must ensure your heart stays healthy.


Keeping your heart healthy

Following are a few things you should do in order to reduce or eliminate your risk of developing heart disease.

  • Eat healthily

  • Be physically active

  • Maintain a healthy body weight

  • Quit smoking

  • Regularly measure and control your cholesterol and blood pressure levels

  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption

  • Reduce stress

How does exercise help improve heart health?

As the heart is a muscular organ (made up of cardiac muscle), you can make it stronger and healthier by living an active lifestyle. It is always recommended to exercise regularly, for which you don’t need to be an athlete or weight lifter. A fifteen to thirty-minute brisk walk each day can bring a considerable difference in your heart health.


Yes, it pays off once you do it regularly. Physically inactive people are more prone to get heart disease than those who are active.


A regular workout can help:

  • Burn calories

  • Manage blood pressure

  • Reduce LDL (bad cholesterol)

  • Increase HDL (good cholesterol)


How to get started?

First things first - find out how physically fit or unfit you are. Then, decide on whether you need a trainer or fitness classes, or if you would be happy working out on your own; whether you need to go to a gym for exercise or you can do it at home. Often times, may senior centers will provide mile to moderate exercise classes – free of charge.


You should set a goal, start slow, and build up to meet that goal. For instance, if you have a target to walk 3 miles a day, but you have never done that before, consider starting with a mile day and gradually increasing it. That way, you would be able to make it big (like 5 or 6 miles a day).


How often and how much should you exercise?

No matter your age, an average person should do a moderate activity (that can be a simple brisk walk) for at least 15-30 minutes a day, 3 or 5 days a week. However, you need to start slow and take your exercise further to tough, challenging levels while gradually making your body adjust to your workout flow.


Do not forget to keep a slow pace a few minutes before and after a fast-paced workout. This will help your body warm-up and cool down easily. Besides, you need not do the same exercise every day; the more variations you make, the more fun and beneficial it will be.


Before we discuss some of the easiest exercises for a healthy heart, let’s look at some essential workout precautions.


Know when to avoid exercise

Most likely, you will not face any significant problems when you exercise. However, you should put a stop to your workout session and seek medical help immediately if:

  • You feel pain in your body

  • You feel pressure in your chest

  • You break out in a cold sweat

  • You have trouble breathing

  • You have a fast or uneven heart rate

  • You feel dizzy, lightheaded, or exhausted


All in all, it is normal if you feel your muscles are becoming a little sore for a couple of days after your initial workout sessions. However, it will fade away as your body adapts to your exercise routine, and later, you would probably feel a lot better and experience health improvements.


5 easy exercises to keep your heart healthy


Walking

There’s no need to schedule time for walking; you can simply put on a pair of comfortable shoes and go for a walk anywhere at any time.


Cycling

Cycling has a lot more to do than just helping you go from home to the supermarket. While cycling, you use your leg’s large muscles that help increase your heart rate. It has been shown that cycling improves your mental health and helps reduce heart disease risks.


Hiking

If walking seems boring to you and running takes a toll on you, try out hiking. Terrains make you go up and down the slopes, making your heart work more, improving its pumping potential and heath.


An extra perk here will be the view you will enjoy that will take your stress away, relax your heart, managing blood pressure. One thing you need to keep in mind before hiking is that you need suitable footwear, a map of the region you are hiking in, and a lot of water to keep yourself hydrated.


Yoga

Yoga exercises are a great way to keep your heart healthy. With yoga, you can strengthen your muscles. There are several types of yoga practices that you can perform to get your heart rate up, i.e. extended triangle pose, seated forward bend pose, half spinal twist pose. These should always be discussed with your medical provider before starting.


Yoga helps improve heart health and provides the calm you need to keep your blood pressure controlled.


Swimming

Swimming is a great exercise not only for your heart but also for the entire body. It does not only help you to get and stay in shape but also acts as a relaxation therapy. Once you start swimming, you will realize that your body feels way more physically relaxed than usual. The end result will be a reduction of pressure on your heart. So while it makes your heart stronger, it keeps it happy too.


Whether you want to walk with a companion, go swimming every evening, or hit the gym three days a week, you can only obtain excellent results by exercising regularly. And do not forget to talk to your doctor in case you experience any difficulties. Besides, if you or one of your family members or friends have concerns related to your heart health, you may consider consulting your health plan. Often times they provide a gym membership – free of charge. Ask your HRBC representative what benefits you have or could have by enrolling in the best plan for you. Now is the time, during Medicare AEP, to make those changes necessary. For more information, please call our office at 951-360-6455 or 1-877-651-7526 TTY: 711.

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