One of the very best gifts you can give your heart is physical activity. Combined with maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking and a healthy eating plan like, Eat Like Your Trainer (E.L.Y.T), are a great protection plan against heart disease.
We wanted to remind you about the importance of heart health and to get your family, friends, and community involved in activities and lifestyle choices that promote cardiovascular health.
Understanding just how physical activity benefits your heart can be a strong motivation to get moving more often. Here are six heart benefits of exercise.
1. Exercise lowers blood pressure.
Exercise slows the heart rate and lowers blood pressure (at rest and also when exercising).
DID YOU KNOW: High blood pressure is a significant risk factor for heart disease.
2. Exercise is essential to weight control.
When combined with a healthy diet, exercise is a crucial component for losing weight and even more important for keeping it off. Being overweight puts stress on the heart and is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
3. Exercise helps strengthen muscles.
Strength training (weightlifting, resistance training) and aerobic workouts (walking, running, rowing, swimming and other vigorous heart-pumping exercises) are considered best for heart health. These activities improve the muscles' ability to draw oxygen from the circulating blood.
FYI: This process, (know as pulmonary circulation) reduces the need for the heart—a muscular organ itself—to work harder to pump more blood to the muscles, whatever your age.
4. Exercise can help you quit smoking.
People who are fit are less likely to start smoking. And, as smokers become more fit, they often quit. Smoking is one of the top risk factors for heart disease because it damages the structure and function of blood vessels. Need help quitting? Click here for tools and information to help you develop a plan that is right for you.
FACT: 2,300 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day, an average of 1 death every 38 seconds.
5. Exercise can stop or slow the development of diabetes.
Johns Hopkins research has shown that when combined with strength training, regular aerobic exercise can reduce the risk of developing diabetes by over 50 percent, by allowing the muscles to better process glycogen, a fuel for energy, which when impaired, leads to excessive blood sugars, and thus diabetes.
6. Exercise lowers stress.
Exercise—whether aerobic, resistance training or flexibility-focused (like yoga)—can help you relax and ease stress and remove the extra burden that stress hormones place on the heart.
E.L.Y.T: Want to learn more about PH360’s signature meal program, Eat Like Your Trainer (E.L.Y.T)? Contact Kerry at (702) 907-4360 for more information.
Sources: heart.org, hopkinsmedicine.org, smokefree.org