At the end of the day, your heart is a muscle, and every muscle needs activity — even (and sometimes especially) when it’s weak.
You might think that heart disease counts you out of an active life, but regular physical activity can actually reduce your risk of dying from heart disease by 50%. In fact, there’s almost no disease that doesn’t benefit from exercise, especially heart disease.
But there’s a right and wrong way to work out where your heart’s concerned. So, to help you get the most out of your exercise, our team at Advanced Vascular Solutions is here with some heart-friendly pointers.
Why do it?
With or without heart disease, exercise is one of the best things you can do for your ticker. It strengthens the muscles in your heart, as well as:
- Lowers blood pressure
- Helps balance cholesterol and blood sugar levels
- Improves heart failure symptoms
- Encourages circulations
- Enhances oxygen use
- Help maintain a healthy weight
It’s never too late to start exercising, but you should keep a few things in mind before you get started.
How can I exercise safely?
The exercises that directly target your cardiovascular system are called aerobic exercises (think walking, swimming, running, or cycling). Aerobic exercise engages both your lungs and heart, improving blood flow and strengthening your heart muscles.
Talk to us before starting a new workout regimen, especially if you’ve just had a heart attack or been diagnosed with heart disease. We walk you through a few precautions that keep you and your heart safe.
Start slow, go slow
Exercise novices and veterans alike should follow the “start slow, go slow” rule of thumb. We recommend starting with a brisk walk, light jog, or perhaps a few laps in the pool 3-4 times a week.
You can always increase the intensity and frequency of your workouts later, but you can set yourself back if you ramp up your activity too quickly.
Though they don’t directly target your heart, stretching and balance training prepare you for exercise and promote overall musculoskeletal health.
We also recommend taking time before you start your activity to get your blood pumping and warm up your heart muscles. Cool-downs are just as important, so remember to give your body and heart time to wind down after your workout.
Listen to your body
Too tired? Feeling chest pain? Those aren’t signs you should ignore. Your body is the best judge of when enough is enough. If you don’t listen, you risk causing more damage to your heart and other areas of your health.
Dress the part
If you don’t have the right equipment, your perfectly designed workouts could be dead on arrival. So, make sure you’re wearing the right clothes for the weather, have a pair of comfortable and supportive shoes, and know how to use any equipment involved in your activity.
Use the buddy system
Grab a friend or invest in a personal trainer to make sure you stick to your workouts and ensure you’re doing them safely.
Don’t neglect strength training
Strength training may not get your blood pumping, but it can help you lose fat and tone up. When you combine it with aerobic exercise, you support your cardiovascular health from more than one angle.
You can find a gym with weight machines or grab a set of resistance bands and do your strength training in the comfort of your own home.
Remember to always check in with our experts before you start. We know your heart health history best and can help you tailor your workouts to your specific needs. Call our friendly staff or use our online booking tool to schedule a consultation with us today. We proudly serve patients in the Melbourne and Sebastian, Florida area.