Do You Want a Strong and Healthy Heart?
In a previous post I wrote about the best home exercises for a healthy heart. Today I want to elaborate on how to maintain a strong, healthy, and active life regardless of your age.
Whether you consider yourself athletic or not, regular exercise is one of the keys to living a life free of “dis-ease,” especially in regards to your heart. Keeping it simple will make a difference in how you exercise. For example, walking can be done year round, and can be done at each individual’s own ace.
Heart disease is more prevalent (by nearly 50%) in people that don’t exercise. It may be difficult at first, but once you get started it will become a regular routine, whether it’s daily or only two or three times a week. Personally, I believe that if a person exercises less than twice a week, the heart will not be strengthened properly.
The Benefits of Healthy Heart Exercises
- lowers blood pressure
- boosts “good” cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides
- burns calories
- can help prevent weight gain
- stimulates brain chemicals that may give you an emotional lift, causing you to feel happier and more relaxed
- an energy booster
- enhances sleep (except if you exercise too close to bedtime)
- it’s fun – think about nature trail hikes, enrolling in a low impact exercise class
To Exercise, or Not to Exercise? – That is the Question
The most important factor in regards to whether to exercise or not is determining how healthy you want to be. Spend some time setting realistic goals to “get in shape.”
Many people think that exercising is all hard work, when, in fact, it also can and needs to be fun. Is working out at a gym not appealing? Then, get some inexpensive equipment and check out these exercises to do at home. Realistically, you don’t need to spend more than 30 minutes a day; just pace yourself so that exercising does not become a burden.
If you want to work harder and longer, do it gradually over a period of time, in order to prevent injury through overexertion. Make sure you’re ready to exercise longer and harder by checking with a health expert, who may or may not be your family physician.
To begin, remember to do some gentle stretching to warm up your muscles. If it hurts, stop, because you’re probably pushing it too hard.
The following are suggestions for a few of the best exercises to do at home (or in the gym if that is your preference).
- Jump rope (note: check here for a suggestion for good cross training shoes)
- Jumping jacks – there’s no equipment needed except good footwear
- Jogging (remember your cross trainers)
- Staircase exercises
Many people prefer aerobics, which include cardio machines like treadmills and stationary bikes. If you choose these types of exercises, make sure that your exercise raises your heart rate while still being able to talk to someone without being short of breath. In other words, don’t push too hard!
If you’re doing strength training, I recommend doing it 3 times a week in order to give your body time to recover. Consider doing only upper body training one day, and the lower body on alternate workout days.
Note: Regardless of what exercise program you choose, spend some time “cooling down” with stretching exercises. Remember to do it gently, and this will prevent getting hurt.
I have found several articles, e-courses, products, programs, and books for you to check out in regards to your heart health. This list is by no means all there is on this subject, but it will give you a head start in the process of becoming better informed and educated about your health.
Free e-courses and articles
- How to permanently improve your heart health
- An open letter about lowering high blood pressure and high cholesterol
- How to lower cholesterol in 8 simple steps
- 7 natural ways to lower blood pressure
Products & Programs for Heart Health
- Heart Health Supplement
- Blood Pressure Monitors
Books (at riduculously low prices)
- The New Heart Health – Dr. Louis Ignarro
- NO More Heart Disease – Dr. Louis Ignarro
- Dr. Joe’s Rx For Managing Your Health – Dr. Joseph Prendergast
- The Arginine Solution – Dr. Robert Fried
- The Cardiovascular Cure – Dr. John Cooke
There is much more that I could write about this subject, so if you have additional questions or comments, contact me through this post or my website. Your heart health is vitally important, and your life will be enriched by doing simple exercises, maintaining a consistent routine, and eating properly.
I hope this has been helpful, and that you live a long and healthy life!
Founder of Healthy Heart Solution