Sexy… Sweaty… Hot… Intense…
Get your mind out of the gutter and put your attention towards an important topic of an active lifestyle for a healthy heart! February is American Heart Month, which means now is an ideal time to remind ourselves of how important it is to take care of your heart with a good diet and a well designed fitness program.
Regardless of age, weight, athletic ability, or size, aerobic exercise is good for you! Doing some type of regular exercise per week such as walking, biking, swimming or taking a class can not only improve your everyday lifestyle, but it can also help you live longer!
The body’s response to aerobic exercise
Our bodies respond to aerobic exercise in many ways. By performing aerobic exercise, it affects the heart, lungs, and blood flow by increasing the circulation to make the body work more productively. During aerobic activity, the larger muscles of your legs, arms, and core move continuously to increase your heart rate while the body stays in constant activity. Aerobic activity is continuous movement of 3 minutes and over. Bursts of movement, performed up to 3 minutes, is considered anaerobic activity. Both anaerobic and aerobic activity is effective to train and condition the heart to optimal levels of a healthy life.
As aerobic activity takes place, your body responds by breathing faster and deeper by maximizing the amount of oxygen in your blood stream to flow to your muscles and back to your lungs. The capillaries, small blood vessels, expand to deliver more oxygen to the muscles and remove any bi-product wastes such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid from the body. Your body in turn will release natural chemicals, endorphins, which promote an increased state of health and happiness.
What is Heart Disease?
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the US. According to the World Health Organization, heart disease is responsible for 25.4% of all deaths in the US. Hearth Disease is an umbrella term for a number of different diseases related to the heart. The bottom line is it’s something you want to avoid at all costs, and regular exercise and diet are the best ways to mitigate the risk of succumbing to heart disease in its various forms.
Importance of an Active Lifestyle:
Physical activity is the best way to keep your heart as healthy as possible. A healthy lifestyle brings many benefits. One of which is reducing the risk of heart disease. Other related benefits are weight reduction, improved sleep pattern, social benefits, energy boost, increased libido, improve athletic performance, increase stamina, improved immune system, reduce risk of chronic conditions, strengthen heart and overall muscles, increased well-being, improved mood, slow the aging process, and to improve the likelihood of a longer life.
Safety Tips for Exercising:
With any good fitness program, safety is paramount. So be sure to consult your physician or health professional before you start. They will be able to advise you on various aspects of a suitable fitness program that suits your individual ability and needs. Key elements of any fitness program to consider are:
1. Monitor your heart rate before, during and after exercise
2. Minimize overexertion
3. If pain occurs, stop and reassess
4. Stretch before and after exercise to prevent injury
5. If on medication, ensure you’re aware of any side effects
Exercises for a Healthy Heart!
Now that you know some important facts and benefits about living a heart healthy lifestyle, get out there and do some form of exercise to improve your health, and in particular the health of your heart!
I’ve created a short cardio fitness video that demonstrates a few exercises that in five minutes a day will improve your heart’s health in a big way!