If you’re looking to boost your heart health, physical activity is a great place to start. Check out our tips on how to get started.
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It’s no secret that physical activity is good for your health. But did you know that being active can also help boost your heart health?
According to the American Heart Association, regular physical activity can help you:
-Maintain a healthy weight
-Reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke
-Reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions
-Increase your energy levels
-Improve your mood and mental health
-Strengthen your bones and muscles
-Reduce stress and anxiety
-Improve your sleep quality
So how much physical activity do you need to keep your heart healthy? The AHA recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week—preferably spread out over several days. And don’t forget to add strength training to your routine—aim for two or more days per week.
The Importance of Physical Activity for Heart Health
Regular physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your heart health. It can help you control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke, and improve your mental health. Just 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (such as walking) most days of the week can make a big difference.
There are many different types of physical activity that can be beneficial for heart health, but not all activities are equal. For example, doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been shown to be more effective than moderate-intensity aerobic activity in reducing risk factors for heart disease. HIIT is a type of exercise that alternates between short bursts of very intense activity and periods of low-intensity activity or rest.
If you’re not used to exercising, it’s important to start slowly and gradually increase your level of activity over time. Talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.
The Benefits of Physical Activity for Heart Health
Physical activity has many benefits for heart health. It can help to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and reduce stress. It can also help to maintain a healthy weight and prevent obesity.
Regular physical activity can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. It is important to get started slowly and gradually increase the amount of activity you do. You should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most days of the week. Moderate-intensity activities include walking, riding a bike, swimming, or playing tennis.
If you have not been active recently, it is important to check with your doctor before starting an exercise program. Once you have started exercising, it is important to listen to your body and stop if you feel pain or discomfort.
The Best Types of Physical Activity for Heart Health
There are many different types of physical activity, and some are better for heart health than others. Here are the best types of physical activity for heart health:
Aerobic exercise: Aerobic exercise, also called cardio, is one of the best things you can do for your heart health. It helps your heart pump blood more efficiently and lowers your risk of heart disease.
Strength training: Strength training not only helps build muscle, but it also helps improve your cardiovascular fitness by making your heart work harder.
Interval training: Interval training alternates periods of intense activity with periods of rest. This type of exercise is especially good for heart health because it helps improve your cardiovascular fitness and lowers your risk of heart disease.
Flexibility exercises: Flexibility exercises help keep your muscles and joints healthy and can help improve your cardiovascular fitness by making your heart work harder.
How Much Physical Activity is Needed for Heart Health
According to the American Heart Association, most adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity (or a combination of the two) every week to maintain heart health. That breaks down to about 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
But don’t worry if you can’t fit in a solid 30-minute workout every day. Even small amounts of physical activity can be beneficial. For example, taking a brisk 10-minute walk a few times a day can add up to the recommended amount of weekly exercise.
In general, the more physical activity you do, the greater the health benefits. But even small amounts of physical activity are still good for you. The key is to start with what you can do and build up from there.
Tips for Getting Started with Physical Activity
If you’re trying to boost your heart health, regular physical activity is key. But if you’re not used to being active, it can be tough to know where to start. Here are a few tips to get you started on the right foot:
-Talk to your doctor: Before starting any new physical activity, it’s always a good idea to check in with your doctor, especially if you have any existing heart conditions or other health concerns. They can help you create a plan that’s safe and effective for you.
-Start slow and build up gradually: It’s important not to overdo it when you’re first starting out. Try something modest, like taking a brisk walk for 20-30 minutes a day, and then gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts as your body adjusts.
-Choose an activity you enjoy: If you hate running, there’s no point in forcing yourself to do it just because it’s “good for you.” Choose an activity that you actually enjoy and you’ll be more likely to stick with it in the long run.
-Set realistic goals: When it comes to fitness, slow and steady really does win the race. Don’t try to accomplish too much too quickly—it’s not sustainable (or safe) in the long run. Set manageable goals that you can gradually work towards over time.
The Bottom Line on Physical Activity and Heart Health
The bottom line is that physical activity is essential for good heart health. It helps to keep your heart muscle strong and functioning properly, reduces your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, and can help improve your overall cardiovascular fitness.Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity on most days of the week, or at least 20 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity 3-4 days per week. Add some resistance training to your routine 2-3 times per week as well. And be sure to briskly walk or move around for a few minutes every hour or so throughout the day to keep your blood flowing and your heart healthy.