Up the Intensity and Strengthen Your Heart
Written by: Samantha Granger, Health Fitness Specialist
Did you know that being physically active helps to prevent heart disease and stroke, which are the number 1 and number 5 causes of death in the nation? Our heart is a muscle, and just like other muscles in our body it becomes stronger with exercise. As the heart increases strength, it can pump more blood throughout the body with each heart beat and maintain working at the highest level for a longer period. To improve overall health, as well as cardiovascular health, the American Heart Association recommends getting a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise throughout the week. The recommendations also include two days per week of moderate to high-intensity muscle strengthening activity for added benefits.
Regular exercise provides a wide range of positive effects on the heart and the circulation of blood. These benefits include improving cholesterol, decreasing fat levels, reducing inflammation in the arteries, weight loss, and helping to keep blood vessels open and flexible. Those who maintain a healthy lifestyle have about a 45% lower risk of developing heart disease than those who do not. Mentioned above as one of the benefits, a healthy lifestyle helps to change your cholesterol and lipid levels in a positive way. This occurs when moderate or high intensity exercise take place. Studies have shown a correlation between higher intensity exercise, and greater improvement in cholesterol levels.
This month, our content writers focus on the effects of a weak heart as well as tips to increase your heart muscle. Strengthen your heart with our exercise of the month, jumping rope. Also, learn how to love what you eat with our healthy eating tip.