Exercising Can Improve Your Heart Health

When a person’s heart stops beating, their life ends. For this reason, people of all ages need to prioritize their heart health and do everything possible to keep this organ healthy. How can a person accomplish that goal? What steps should they take to make the heart stronger and ensure it continues to beat for the longest time possible? 

Weight Control

Excess pounds harm the heart. Ask any cardiologist, and they will tell you one of the best ways to protect the heart is to lose extra weight. Why is this the case?

Additional pounds lead to insulin resistance in a person. This can bring about a dangerous cycle, as the body secretes more insulin when a person gains weight. This insulin then leads to the body storing more fat and a person will often find they receive a diabetes diagnosis. Any person with diabetes is almost three times more likely to suffer a stroke or heart attack. 

Furthermore, a person’s weight affects their blood lipid levels. As an individual’s weight increases, their LDL and triglyceride levels also increase. At the same time, beneficial HDL cholesterol levels decline. 

Another problem commonly seen in individuals who are overweight is sleep apnea. A person suffering from this condition stops breathing when they sleep. In fact, a person might stop breathing hundreds of times in eight hours. Sleep apnea raises the person’s risk of heart attack or death by 30 percent. Men and women who fail to get enough sleep find they feel hungry more often, they gain weight because they snack throughout the day, and they struggle to achieve or maintain a healthy weight level. 

Exercise and Blood Pressure

A person becomes more susceptible to high blood pressure as they age. Nevertheless, individuals find they can reduce this risk significantly by exercising. In fact, people who currently suffer from hypertension discover exercise might be all they need to bring their blood pressure under control. Any increase in daily physical activity becomes of benefit when a person wants to keep their blood pressure at an acceptable level. 

Physical activity strengthens the heart over time. As a result, the heart pumps blood more efficiently, decreasing the force on the arteries in the process. This lowers the individual’s blood pressure. Men and women find they only need 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity to reduce their blood pressure. Nevertheless, every person should try to complete 30 minutes of aerobic activity daily. If necessary, break this activity up into three ten-minute segments, as this provides the same benefit as one 30-minute workout. 

High blood pressure negatively impacts a person’s cardiovascular health. Exercise offers many of the same benefits seen with common heart medications, such as beta-blockers. Control your blood pressure naturally with the help of exercise and you may be able to reduce the number of medications you must take daily along with your need for cardiology services. This is of great importance, as many medications produce negative side effects. Controlling blood pressure through exercise allows you to avoid these unpleasant side effects while protecting your health. 

Stronger Muscles

The heart is a muscle, and exercise has been shown to strengthen muscles in the human body. The heart is no exception. Men and women must know how much exercise they need to strengthen their hearts. Start by learning your target heart rate, which depends on a person’s age. Once you know your target heart rate, it’s time to find an activity you enjoy doing and can stay with over time. 

Any physical activity strengthens the heart. People often hear they need to walk 10,000 steps a day to reduce their mortality risk. However, many men and women prefer activities other than walking. For instance, a person might prefer to swim every day to get their physical activity. While these activities may not factor into the person’s step count, they are still moving and strengthening their heart in the process. 

This activity sends more oxygenated blood to the muscles, including the heart, while making it easier to complete the workout. At the same time, this exercise makes the lungs stronger and boosts mental health. Men and women also find a good workout improves their mood and reduces their stress. After the workout, they feel better, and it shows in everything they do. 

Less Inflammation

Ongoing, low-grade inflammation in the body plays a role in the development of many chronic health conditions. Exercise has been shown to reduce this inflammation, particularly in individuals who suffer from a chronic disease in which inflammation has been shown to play a role. The inflammation arises when the body’s immune system kicks in. This system does so to heal itself when the person has been injured. In addition, the immune system activates when it detects foreign invaders, as it wants to send their invaders on their way. Finally, the immune system helps to repair tissues that have been damaged and may reduce a person’s need for cardiac rehabilitation services in the future. 

People find they can reduce inflammation in the body with a single moderate exercise session. This session benefits individuals suffering from a range of chronic conditions, such as fibromyalgia and arthritis. For example, a person who spends 20 minutes on the treadmill engaging in moderate exercise will find the number of stimulated immune cells in their body decreases by five percent. These cells produce tumor necrosis factor, which serves as a major regulator of systemic inflammation in the body. 

Talk with your doctor before starting any new exercise program. Doctors help in determining which exercises are appropriate for your current physical level and how to make adjustments where needed. Furthermore, the doctor can help you determine your target heart rate and which exercises need to be avoided. Finally, the doctor can offer suggestions for a healthy diet to complement the results you see from the new exercise plan. Never hesitate to ask questions. Doctors want to help their patients achieve optimal health, and exercise is a great step in achieving this goal.  

About Carolina Cardiology Associates

Carolina Cardiology Associates has a skilled and experienced team of physicians who specialize in cardiovascular health technology. Our staff is dedicated to helping every patient to improve and maintain cardiovascular health. If you are concerned about your health or think you may have a heart problem, we can help. 

The experienced physicians at Carolina Cardiology Associates are committed to the health of every patient who walks through our doors. We understand the challenges of cardiovascular disease and will work with you to provide treatment, education, and a plan for the future to help you live your healthiest life.