The importance of exercise for your heart

May 28, 2015 | By Shannan Ponton

Exercise and a healthy diet are the best thing you can do for your heart health. Exercise helps your heart to work better and can help prevent cardiovascular disease. When you exercise your heart rate increases. It then adapts to this and doesn’t need to work as hard for the rest of the day. This means your fitness levels improve and your heart has less pressure on it. It also reduces your resting blood pressure, which helps to keep your heart stress low.

Your heart needs exercise so it can pump blood around the body to the best of its ability. Our bodies lose strength, flexibility and fitness without regular physical activity. Physical activity can help prevent heart disease, lower the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke and can help cardiac rehabilitation in those who might have damaged their hearts. Aerobic exercise is great for strengthening your heart and cardiovascular system. It will improve your circulation and help your body use oxygen more efficiently.

Aerobic activity is steady physical activity using large muscle groups which strengthen our heart and lungs. Our body craves exercise and our bodies were designed for movement and activity, so get moving.

The best placed training is a system of progressive overloads. That means if the Dr has told you that your cholesterol and blood pressure are high and you need to start exercising, don’t shoot out of his office, buy a brand new pair of Asics and run a marathon. You need to ease into training and build a solid strength and cardio vascular fitness base. If you’ve never (or not in recent memory) exercised be guided by your GP or specialist but regular, consistent walking is a great place to start. Head to your local ATF and jump on the tread mill starting at a comfortable pace for you. DO NOT look at everyone else and in a moment of blind bravado decide you need to blow out the cob webs at 15km/h. Walk consistently for 20 min at least 5 days per week. Once this becomes comfortable increase your time to 30 min. Remember the key is progressive overloads, once walking 5 times per week for 30 min becomes comfortable, increase your speed to a fast walk or slow jog. Once you’re jogging consistently, try some intervals of fast running, followed be a recovery period. Say 30 sec hard, 30 sec easy. The tread mill is just an example of the equipment available at ATF you can also try the X trainer, Rowers or bikes.

Remember heart health is best controlled by regular exercise and regular healthy diet. Try dietary supplementation of Krill or Fish Oil and Vitamin E to enhance your progress.