A sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor of coronary heart disease. However, implementing exercise into one's lifestyle can feel a little overwhelming—especially for those over the age of 50. Unfortunately, putting off exercise can have some serious health risks. If you're not feeling great right now, exercise can only help you feel better.
Your late forties and fifties are a critical time, as they're usually when your arteries can stiffen. What if we told you can exercise for a healthy heart? After all, it can improve your artery health, reducing your risk for both coronary heart disease and stroke.
Increasing the number of times you exercise in a week is something you can easily change. There are a variety of benefits of cardiovascular exercise, and we'd love to share some of them with you. Getting out of any inactivity funk can be rough, but we're here to cheer you on!
Reduce coronary events
As previously mentioned, studies show that inactive people have a higher risk of developing CHD. Exercising trains your heart to be tough against coronary heart disease. Exercising also activates ischemic preconditioning, which prevents the loss of blood supply and oxygen to your body's tissues.
Furthermore, when you start moving, you can help clear your arteries. This is because exercise decreases the amount of bad cholesterol (LDL) in your body and increases the good cholesterol (HDL).
A little goes a long way
You don't have to spend hours jogging to reap the benefits of exercise. Simply make exercise a part of your everyday life; with just 30 minutes of exercise a day, you can improve your heart health. All you have to do is work hard enough to trigger your heart, helping it to pump blood throughout your body in order to increase your oxygen levels and lower your blood pressure.
Strive for exercises that are moderately difficult. No matter the activity you're doing, you should be able to talk in phrases and feel slightly breathless. If you can't catch your breath, make sure you slow down.
Walking is an easy exercise, making it a wonderful place to begin your journey toward better heart health. Too busy? Make small changes. For example, you can park at the far end of a parking lot or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Any exercise is better than no exercise.
The best part about exercise is that it's never too late to start. No matter your age, your body can benefit from increasing your physical activity. Plus, when you exercise more frequently, you'll begin to feel less winded every time you exercise. Increasing your endurance will help you power through tough workouts and feel amazing afterward!
Increases weight loss
It's no secret that exercise burns calories. Not only will exercise help you drop the weight, but you'll look more toned. In addition to appearing more fit, getting rid of excess body fat (especially if it's around your waist) is essential to diminishing your risk for heart disease. Keep in mind that your risk only goes up if you have a waist size that is greater than 35 inches.
More weight puts more stress on the heart, and increasing its workload can lead to bigger health issues down the road. On the other hand, losing weight improves blood pressure and aids in managing diabetes. Do your future self a favor and start moving!
Don't forget to pair your exercise routine with a healthy diet. Ideally, your diet should include foods that are low in fat and cholesterol. Think fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, seeds, and fatty fish. This way of eating will help you keep off the weight and live a longer life.
You can rebuild your strength
Great mobility is important as you age. While you exercise for a healthy heart, you also regain your strength by building muscle and preventing bone loss. Ideally, exercise should aerobic activity, strength training, and stretching.
The good news is that there are a variety of exercises you can choose from, including swimming, yoga, weight lifting, cycling, and more.
The funny thing is, your heart is also a muscle. It's made up of a group of tissues that deliver essential nutrients to your body. Like the other muscles in your body, it also needs to stay fit. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to keep it nice and healthy.
To increase your strength and gain even more benefits, you can add more difficult activities, such as running, skiing, hiking, or stair climbing. Make sure you're gradually building up to the harder workouts; this helps your body seamlessly adjust to an active lifestyle.
As we've discussed above, exercise improves your cardiovascular health, but it boosts your mood, aids your memory, wards off viral sicknesses, and more.
Everybody has to start their fitness journey somewhere. Why not start working on your goals today? Before and after exercising, always make sure you gently stretch your body; this helps reduce muscle fatigue, improve flexibility, and prevent injuries. If you have time to exercise, you definitely have time to stretch.
While there are seemingly endless benefits of cardiovascular exercise, it's (unfortunately) not the be-all, end-all solution. It's always best to take preventive measures now and explore a variety of ways to stay informed about your health. Life Line Screening encourages you to get screened, as your visit will go beyond an annual check-up. Our quick, easy, and affordable preventive health screenings determine your risk for plaque blockage and more. With state-of-the-art ultrasound technology, we can actually take a look inside your arteries and provide you with an accurate report.
If you've ever had high blood pressure or cholesterol, or if your family history includes heart disease or stroke, we can detect these conditions before they worsen. Ultimately, screenings can help you take further steps toward a healthy life. Join over eight million people who have already made steps to take control of their health. Call now to schedule a screening in your location.