Your heart is a muscle. It gets stronger and healthier if you lead an active life. People who don’t exercise are almost twice as likely to get heart disease as people who are active.
The Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada defines heart disease as a general term that means the heart is not working properly. Some forms of heart disease are present at birth, while others develop as we age.
Being active for at least 150 minutes per week has been shown to provide some protection against several risk factors for heart disease, including:
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides
- Increase HDL (good) cholesterol
- Control blood sugar by improving how your body uses insulin
- Control body weight
With this impressive list of benefits, getting your heart pumping faster on a regular basis is a must!
How do you get started?
It is important to choose an activity you enjoy because you’ll be more likely to stick with it. Make sure it raises your heart rate; improving your aerobic fitness will help you manage your risks of heart disease.
A quick way to achieve this result is by doing cardio. During cardiovascular exercise your heart works harder and pumps blood around your body at a faster rate, so your heart becomes increasingly efficient. This can make your everyday activities seem easier over time and you’ll no longer be breathing heavily after walking up a few flights of stairs.
To advance your routine, seek help from a World Health Calgary gym personal trainer. They can introduce interval training to vary your cardio, as well as get you familiar with strength training using your own body weight, resistance bands, machines or free weights. They will focus on injury prevention, and results to progress your training.
To benefit from exercise, it needs to be done regularly; aim to be active nearly every day. Mix going for a walk or jog with strength training and stretching two to three times a week, and you’ll have an excellent, balanced program for heart health.