Friday, November 9, 2012

3 Exercises to a Happy, Healthy Heart

One of the most common and fatal
health problems today is heart disease.
Image: Shutterstock
One of the most common and fatal health problems these days is heart disease. And just like it’s easier to maintain a social life than it is to find one, it’s always better to prevent heart problems before they start.

Your heart is a muscle—a very important muscle. And like any other muscle in your body, it needs to be active and exercised regularly to stay healthy. If you don’t work it, it can become weak and inefficient, making you more susceptible to future problems.

Did you know that if you are overweight, you are 80% more likely to develop heart disease? Staying physically fit will not only keep your body fit, but it will also strengthen your heart and help prevent heart disease. These three types of exercise are the most effective at keeping your whole body in shape:

Aerobic Exercise, such as walking, running, swimming, dancing, and rowing help your body absorb oxygen from the blood stream and spread it throughout your body. This increases heart strength and boosts your fat and carbohydrates burning metabolism.
Dancing is an aerobic activity that can help prevent heart disease.
Dancing is an aerobic activity that can help
prevent heart disease.
Image: Shutterstock

Resistance Training strengthens bones, muscles, and joints. Free weights and other exercises that challenge your strength are all resistance exercises. Unlike aerobic exercise, resistance training doesn’t directly affect heart health, but it does keep your weight down and your metabolism up, making you less susceptible to heart disease.

Flexibility Exercises help increase blood flow throughout your body. Stretching helps lengthen muscles and keep you from getting stiff. You should try to stretch for 5-10 minutes per day. Classes like Yoga and Pilates can greatly improve your flexibility while at the same time gently strengthening your core muscles and heart.

Do you already do some of these types of exercise? Which ones do you prefer/practice more often? I enjoy yoga for the relaxation it offers. I also enjoy various aerobic exercises because it helps me with stress relief and leaves me feeling extremely satisfied.