Heart specialists in Hudson County
Your heart is a muscle, and like all muscles it requires regular exercise to keep it strong and healthy. In addition, regular exercise helps you:
- Burn calories and thus keep your weight under control
- Lower your blood pressure
- Reduce your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels
- Boost your HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels
Not getting enough exercise – the bad news we have to cover in this article (says the heart specialists in Hudson County) – is that research and statistics tell us people who don’t exercise are almost twice as likely to develop heart disease as people who lead active lives. The good news is that it’s never too late to introduce more exercise into your life, and thus improve your cardiovascular health. You don’t have to become an athlete overnight – even taking brisk walks can lower your overall heart disease risk tremendously. For those who wish to become more proactive, in this article we will present the best five exercises for your heart.
The five best types of exercise to improve your heart health
If you haven’t been exercising regularly, start with these exercises and build up slowly. Work towards a goal of at least 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise 5 times a week, chosen from the following categories.
- Interval training is one of the best ways to prevent heart disease and diabetes, control your weight, and improve your overall fitness. The basic strategy is to alternate short bursts of high-intensity exercise with periods of active recovery. For example, alternate 3 minutes of normal-speed walking with 1 minute of brisk walking. Raising and lowering your heart rate improves your vascular functions, and helps your body clear fat and sugar from the blood more efficiently.
- Non-impact, total-body sports work because the more muscles you use while engaging in them, the harder your heart must work to fuel them all, and the stronger it gets as a result. Examples include swimming, rowing, cross-country skiing, biking, and other sports that use your body’s muscles without beating it up.
- Core exercises such as those provided by Pilates and “ab workouts” strengthen your core muscles and improve your flexibility and balance, but they also work the heart. Regular yoga practice also does this, while lowering blood pressure.
- Weight training is a different form of interval training, in that you increase your heart rate while performing repetitions, and then recover between “sets.”
- Stay as active as possible all day. This isn’t a type of exercise per se, but it’s one of the most effective ways to improve your cardiovascular health. Work on adding more activity to your day, whether it is in the form of cleaning the house, gardening, running errands, or just taking the stairs rather than the elevator. Wearing a pedometer will help you measure how active you are, and reveal ways that you can become more active.
Contact your Hudson County cardiologist for even more heart-healthy tips
Developing a reputation as some of the best heart doctors in Hudson County has as much to do with our emphasis on prevention as it does our skills as doctors and surgeons. So give us a call at 201-241-4222 and schedule a consultation, during which we can provide you with additional heart-healthy dietary and lifestyle advice.