Its Time To Take Care Of Your Heart by Jennifer Nicole Lee
Happy Love Day everyone! It's officially February, and time to enjoy your loved ones, friends and family. Amidst all the boxes of chocolates, sugary confections, and empty calorie filled bottles of champagne, ask yourself this very clarifying question:
"What Is The Greatest Gift That I Can Give To Others And Myself?"
With Valentines Day here, you might have answered: "A box of extra mousse filled Godiva Chocolates." That's okay, but I am here to shed much needed light on what really is the greatest gift that you can give to yourself. It's been scientifically proven that there are certain activities, super foods and supplements that you can do and or take on a daily basis to increase your heart health quality.
Some of you maybe asking, "Why care about the heart? I just want to be able to fit into my bikini and look good this summer." Well in order to look good on the outside we must also take care of ourselves on the inside.
Information On The "Good Ol' Ticker"
A sedentary (inactive) lifestyle is one of the top risk factors for heart disease. Fortunately, it's a risk factor that you can do something about. Regular exercise, especially aerobic exercise, has many benefits. It can:
Strengthen your heart and cardiovascular system.
Improve your circulation and help your body use oxygen better.
Improve your heart failure symptoms.
Increase energy levels so you can do more activities without becoming tired or short of breath.
Lower blood pressure.
Improve muscle tone and strength.
Improve balance and joint flexibility.
Help reduce body fat and help you reach a healthy weight.
Help reduce stress, tension, anxiety and depression.
Boost self-image and self-esteem.
Make you feel more relaxed and rested.
Make you look fit and feel healthy.
I see that you are all sold on the benefits of living a heart healthy lifestyle. And now you are asking me, "Okay, JNL! How Do I Get Started?"
It's a lot simpler than you would ever believe!
First of all always check with your doctor first before starting an exercise program. Your doctor can help you find a program that matches your level of fitness and physical condition. Here are some questions to ask:
How much exercise can I do each day?
How often can I exercise each week?
What type of exercise should I do?
What type of activities should I avoid?
Should I take my medication(s) at a certain time around my exercise schedule?
Do I have to take my pulse while exercising?
Three Basic Types Of Exercise
Ready to start exercising? Great! But for basic hearth health, I am going to share with you the types of exercise that are the best.
Exercise can be divided into three basic types:
Stretching or the slow lengthening of the muscles. Stretching the arms and legs before and after exercising helps prepare the muscles for activity and helps prevent injury and muscle strain. Regular stretching also increases your range of motion and flexibility.
Cardiovascular or aerobic is steady physical activity using large muscle groups. This type of exercise strengthens the heart and lungs and improves the body's ability to use oxygen. Aerobic exercise has the most benefits for your heart. Over time, aerobic exercise can help decrease your heart rate and blood pressure and improve your breathing (since your heart won't have to work as hard during exercise).
3. Strengthening Exercises:
Strengthening exercises are repeated muscle contractions (tightening) until the muscle becomes tired. For people with heart failure, many strengthening exercises are not recommended.
JNL's Examples Of Heart Healthy Aerobic Exercises
Plain and simple, aerobic exercises include: walking, jogging, jumping rope, bicycling (stationary or outdoor), cross-country skiing, skating, rowing and low-impact aerobics or water aerobics.
The suggested frequency of exercise depends on your fitness level and goals.
In general, to achieve maximum benefits, you should gradually work up to an aerobic session lasting 20 to 30 minutes, at least three to four times a week. Exercising every other day will help you start a regular aerobic exercise schedule. I recommend working up to exercising on most days of the week. While the more exercise you can do the better, any amount of exercise is beneficial to your health.
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