The potential to improve overall health with regular exercise is impressive — but the Centers for Disease Control says only 21 percent of American adults meet the organization’s Physical Activity Guidelines.
For most adults, this means getting 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise like brisk walking, or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise like running each week, in addition to two weekly sessions of strength training.
But what is the impact of regular exercise on the heart specifically? And how does all this effort translate to our overall health?
We know regular exercise strengthens muscles, but it also helps the heart do a better job of pumping blood throughout the body. Here are seven heart-healthy reasons why regular cardiovascular work belongs in your exercise plan:
Before you begin any new exercise plan, talk with your doctor about the best way to incorporate cardiovascular activity into your lifestyle. Not only can your doctor help establish a plan that safely and gradually increases your capacity for cardiovascular exercise, but he or she can also establish baselines for your blood pressure, resting heart rate and cholesterol that will allow you to track your success.
To find out if you’re at risk for heart disease, take an online HeartAware assessment. You can also call 877-45-HEART to schedule a heart scan or make an appointment online.
Learn more about heart and vascular services at Edward-Elmhurst Health.
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