The heart is arguably the most important component of the human body – without a functioning heartbeat, we wouldn’t be alive. It is no surprise then that keeping our hearts healthy and in optimal shape is one of the most important things we can do to support our physical health. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercising daily or multiple times a week are generally considered the best ways to maintain good heart health, and good health overall.
Like any other muscle in the body, the heart is also a muscle and gets stronger and healthier if you lead an active life. Even if you’re not young anymore, it’s never too late to start exercising – and you don’t even have to be an athlete! Being physically active is important to prevent heart disease and stroke, the No. 1 and No. 5 killers in the United States, according to the American Heart Association. Check out how exercise will benefit your heart health.
With exercise, there are a number of physiological benefits that occur as a result. Two significant benefits are improvements in muscular function (including your heart!) and improvement in the body’s ability to take in and use oxygen, known as maximal oxygen consumption or aerobic capacity. Therefore, as one’s ability to transport and use oxygen improves, regular daily activities can be performed with less fatigue – making things a little bit easier for your heart and enhancing your overall heart health!
Scientific evidence also suggests that exercise training, especially cardiovascular training, improves the capacity of blood vessels to dilate in response to exercise or hormones. In other words, solid cardiovascular exercise will improve your blood flow, oxygen transport, and uptake, and you will have more energy to perform daily tasks with ease.
Exercise also increases your levels of HDL cholesterol or “good” cholesterol. Increasing levels of HDL cholesterol will help lower your risk of heart disease by flushing the artery-clogging LDL or “bad” cholesterol out of your system. Our cardiologist wellness center in New Jersey aims to find the right balance of good and bad cholesterol in our clients, and we credit aerobic exercise as a significant contributor to finding this balance.
Over time, with chronic cardio training and exercise, your resting heart rate drops because each beat delivers a bigger burst of blood than when you weren’t in as good of shape. When each heartbeat delivers a bigger burst of blood, fewer beats are required. Overall, this takes work off your heart and is why cardio exercise is recommended for your heart health.
As the heart registers a larger volume of blood, over time the left ventricle adapts and enlarges. This larger cavity can then hold more blood, and ejects more blood per beat, even at rest. With persistence and hard work, your heart health will be stronger and better than ever before!
Our heart health experts at New Jersey’s Cardio Metabolic Institute encourage you to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 5 days a week to maintain good heart health. Otherwise, Cardio Metabolic Institute has podiatry and other pain management services to keep you feeling good and healthy.