Exercise and the Heart
HOW DOES EXERCISE STRENGTHEN THE HEART?
The heart is a muscle and just like other muscle, it works better and more efficiently when it is in shape. Exercise makes the heart stronger, helping it to pump more blood with each heartbeat. A well-conditioned heart can pump a large amount of blood with fewer heartbeats than a weak heart. Exercise makes the heart more resistant to stress, heart attack and heart disease.
WHAT IS THE BEST TYPE OF EXERCISE FOR THE HEART?
Aerobic exercises such as walking, jogging, swimming, running and bicycling are ideal exercises for improving functioning of the heart. They make the heart work harder to pump blood and therefore more oxygen is delivered to the body’s cells.
HOW CAN EXERCISE PREVENT HEART DISEASE?
Physical inactivity is a major cause of heart disease. Exercise can reduce excess body weight, cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and also control diabetes. Heart disease is one of the main causes of death and disability, world over. The main factors are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, physical inactivity, diabetes, obesity and smoking.
DON’T WE EXERCISE ENOUGH WHILE WE GO ABOUT OUR DAILY ACTIVITIES TO KEEP THE HEART HEALTHY?
Being busy or active in the office or with household chores does not provide the benefits of regular exercise. Aerobic exercises can condition the heart and lungs if performed adequately. A minimum of 30 minutes of exercise, 3 to 5 times a week is essential. This does not mean that you need to train like a marathon runner to become physically active; it just means that you do need to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Even simple, moderate intensity activities such as walking, climbing stairs or gardening will keep your heart healthy, fit and strong.
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