Your heart isn’t just the hardest-working muscle in your body, it’s also the strongest muscle, and your body depends on a healthy heart. The rest of your muscles depend on oxygenated blood from the heart to do their work.
Your heart pumps on average 115,000 times a day. It provides nutrients to every muscle, organ, nerve and tissue. The heart provides oxygen to all the cells of the body while eliminating waste in them.
What is a healthy heart?
A healthy heart has a normal resting heart rate of about 60 to less than 100 beats per minute. This rate may differ per person, but the lower the heart rate while at rest, the more efficient the heart functions.
A healthy heart collects blood from all areas of your body and pumps it to the lungs. It maintains a healthy blood pressure, so the force against your artery walls isn’t too much or too little.
Diet and exercise are among the important lifestyle factors that contribute to heart health. Balancing your diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and heart-healthy fat is an excellent way to promote heart health.
The foods you choose can be just as important. You’ll want to keep your eye on your sodium and saturated fat intake.
Physical activity contributes to heart health
Muscles were made to move and engage in activity. When it comes to heart health, exercise gets your heart pumping and trains your heart so it does its job better. When you engage in physical activity, your heart maintains pumping action and gets better at circulating blood throughout your body.
As with any other muscle, it adapts and strengthens the more you use it.
How much exercise do you need for heart health?
For optimum heart health, we recommend that you aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. If you aren’t used to much physical activity, it’s perfectly fine to begin with 15-20 minutes a day and build your way up. Additionally, you can break your exercise up into 10-minute segments three times a day to make it more manageable in the beginning.
Aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of heart-pumping physical activity each week. You can gain even more heart-health benefits by increasing your activity to 300 minutes each week.
The best exercises for heart health
It’s necessary to know that spending less time sitting is the most important factor when it comes to physical activity and heart health. There isn’t just one exercise that is the absolute best for heart health. All physical activity contributes to a healthier body and heart.
That said, if you’re unsure of where to start, aerobic activities that get your heart pumping are excellent for heart health.
Consistency is key
What’s the best exercise for heart health? It’s one that you enjoy. That’s because you’re likely to stick with exercise and make it a permanent part of your lifestyle when you enjoy it and look forward to it. If running is your idea of the perfect heart-healthy exercise, but you don’t enjoy running, you’re unlikely to keep at it, so it won’t do your heart any good.
When considering the best exercise for heart health, think about the types of aerobic activities you enjoy. From running and swimming to dancing and kickboxing, you’re sure to find an activity that you can stick to.
Do you need to seek medical advice before you begin an exercise program for you heart?
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Getting your body moving is a good strategy to protect your heart. Before starting any exercise program, talk to your doctor about safe exercises for your heart.
Here at Advanced Cardiovascular Care, we offer the highest-quality, personalized cardiovascular care. For comprehensive exams and all of your heart health needs, schedule an appointment with cardiologist Dr. Syed Bokhari at our Riverside, California, office.