By Ryan Lawson, Exercise Specialist
A sedentary lifestyle is one of the worst things you can do to your heart. Your heart is a muscle and, like any other muscle, the more you use it, the stronger your heart becomes. Research is continually showing a correlation between regular cardiovascular activity and heart health. Some of the benefits of cardiovascular exercise include:
- Lowered risk of heart attack
- Lower cholesterol and blood pressure
- Overall improvement of heart and lung function
- Reduction of coronary heart disease risk
Are you exercising enough?
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise each week. Ideally, your goal should be to complete 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week. Moderate activity is anything that increases your heart rate and makes you break a sweat. The AHA also recommends you supplement your aerobic exercise with two 30-minute sessions of strength training on non-consecutive days of the week.
If you’re looking to lower your blood pressure or cholesterol, you should integrate moderate to vigorous cardio exercise into your routine several days a week.
Remember, these are just guidelines. If you aren’t ready to exercise for 30 to 40 minutes per session, start slowly with a realistic goal and build up to 150 minutes a week.