Exercise and Your Heart

February is American Heart Month. Coincidentally, February is also the month of love with Valentine’s Day coming in the middle of the month. Love is represented by the symbol of a healthy heart. This month allows people to focus on their cardiovascular health. You can express love to your heart by ensuring it is healthy. One of the best gifts you can give your heart is physical exercise. Johns Hopkins research has established that undertaking regular exercise, not smoking, maintaining a normal weight, and adopting a Mediterranean-style diet will provide the greatest protection against vascular disease and coronary artery disease.

These four simple lifestyle factors were tested in 6,200 subjects across eight years. The findings of the study revealed that these practices reduced the chance of death from all causes by 80 percent.

Now that you have this amazing fact, you may be wondering how much more facts support the beneficial effects of exercise on your heart. Understanding how physical activity benefits your heart can strongly motivate you to get moving. Here is an outline of six benefits that exercise will have on your heart.

1. Exercise is vital for weight control

When combined with a smart diet plan, physical activity is a critical component for losing weight. More important, being physic`ally active will help you keep your weight off. Maintaining a normal weight in this way will help in optimizing your heart health. Being overweight makes the heart work harder in pumping blood which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

2. Exercise lowers blood pressure

When you exercise, you train your heart to have a slower heart rate when resting. Like beta-blocker medications, physical activity will slow your heart rate and in consequence, lower your blood pressure. High blood pressure puts you at risk of heart disease and other complications.

3. Exercise strengthens muscles

Combining strength training (resistance training, weight lifting) and aerobic workouts (swimming, running, walking, cycling, etc.) has been proven to be best for your heart health. Aerobic exercises designed based on your fitness level help in increasing the vigor of heart pumping. The exercise improves the ability of muscles to draw oxygen from the blood as it circulates. Your heart is a muscle organ itself. Therefore, increasing its strength and ability to draw oxygen from the blood reduces its risk of failing and the need for the heart to pump blood harder to the muscles.

4. Exercise slows down the progression of Diabetes

Combining regular aerobic exercises and strength training reduces the risk of developing diabetes by over 50 percent. This is enabled by the muscles processing glycogen better.

Glycogen is fuel for energy that when impaired causes an excessive rise of glucose levels in the blood, and diabetes.

5. Exercise can help you quit smoking

Increasing fitness helps smokers to quit. Similarly, fit people have a less likelihood of starting smoking. Smoking is a major risk factor for heart diseases. The substances in the smoke damage the function and structure of blood vessels causing cardiovascular problems.

6. Exercise lowers stress

Any form of exercise will help you relax and ease stress, preventing the production of stress hormones. Stress hormone puts an extra burden on the heart, increasing the risk of heart disease.Did You Know?
Shot Health has a medical weight loss program.

Our program is designed to incorporate the four principles of a heart healthy lifestyle, helping you express affection to your heart. For more information on our heart-friendly services, visit

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