A healthy heart through exercise. Whether walking, Nordic walking, or cycling: If you want to do something good for your heart, you should rely on sports that build endurance slowly but continuously. As soon as you have a certain basic endurance and you feel fit, regular jogging is the endurance sport of choice.
The same applies to all endurance sports: They strengthen the circulatory system and train the heart muscle – and thereby effectively prevent cardiovascular diseases. Many studies show that physically active people, for example, are much less likely to develop high blood pressure or have a heart attack. Let’s see more about A healthy heart through exercise.
Endurance exercise keeps the arteries young
Jogging, cycling & Co. act like a fountain of youth on our cardiovascular system. Those who do sports regularly keep their blood vessels elastic and thus facilitate blood flow. The vessels dilate, which reduces the risk of developing high blood pressure.
You can also lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol, which is responsible for the arteriosclerosis ( hardening of the arteries), by taking regular walks or jogging through the park. If you also pay attention to a low-fat diet and especially integrate vegetable fats into your diet, you can increase the effects of endurance sports. Vegetable fats contain a particularly high proportion of “useful” HDL cholesterol. It dissolves the “harmful” LDL cholesterol from the inner walls of the blood vessels and transports it to the liver, where it is broken down. By the way, you can also prevent obesity through exercise and thereby reduce the risk of (Diabetes).
Take heart health into your own hands
Regular exercise and sport as well as a low-fat diet are particularly beneficial. If you pay attention, it is up to you to keep your own cardiovascular system fit and healthy in the long term. It is all the more surprising that the hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis) and its secondary diseases of the heart and circulation are still responsible for most deaths in industrialized nations.
Tips for the right cardio fitness program
First to the doctor
If you have so far done little or no sport and are older than 35 years, it is advisable to have a sports medical check with your family doctor before starting training. This also applies to motivated people who have taken a long break from training. The doctor rules out possible cardiovascular diseases by examining you, for example, with an exercise ECG and assessing your cardiovascular system’s ability to exercise. The test results can also help the doctor to give you the right tips and suggestions for your training program.
Start slowly and take enough breaks
Beginners in particular often tend to overwhelm themselves physically through training. So jogging they usually too fast and put too few stages of recovery. But the body needs time to get used to the new stresses.
- Start slowly and take enough breaks.
- Everyone has to find their own individual level.
- A stress test can help to assess your personal resilience. A family doctor, for example, does this.
And a few more general rules for healthy exercise :
- It is better to choose a load that does not strain you too much and that takes longer. This is more beneficial for your health than a short and intense training session, during which you really work up a sweat and then feel drained. The basic recommendation is, therefore: run without breathing. This is especially true for beginners. For example, it’s better to ride your bike for an hour than to jog through the park for half an hour, panting. Over time, you can then slowly increase your training volume.
- Do interval training: if you want to start jogging, for example, you should first run for two minutes. Then walk for five minutes, then run again for two minutes, and so on. Over time, you can lengthen your running intervals and shorten your breaks.
- Doctors recommend preventive health care to be physically active for at least two hours a week. However, it is better to spread the time over at least three training units a week. So it is better to take a quick walk for half an hour four times a week than just two hours a week.
- But also remember to take sufficient time to recover. For example, keep taking breaks. Your body needs time to regenerate.
Find a sport that is fun
Sport is healthy – as long as you exercise regularly. In order to maintain motivation in the long term, you should therefore look for endurance sports that are fun for the long term. It doesn’t always have to be jogging. Dancing, hiking, or power yoga, for example, also train endurance. Fitness studios also have fitness equipment that you can use to specifically strengthen your cardiovascular system. Sports games such as soccer, handball, or tennis are also suitable for this.
However, from the age of 35, you should speak to a sports doctor before unpacking your tennis racket or putting on your football boots. The reason: The strain on the cardiovascular system and the joints are higher in most sports games than in pure endurance sports such as running, swimming, or cycling.
It’s easier together!
Find a colleague. Because many athletes find it easier to motivate themselves for the evening sports unit even after a long day in the office, as soon as they have one or more training partners.
Recognize and avoid risks
To cardiovascular diseases are diseases that both the vessels of the heart and blood vessels, such as arteries and veins concern. Examples are:
- Circulatory disorder of the heart muscle ( coronary artery disease, CHD), which can cause angina pectoris and heart attack
- Varicose veins
- High blood pressure ( hypertension )
- Cardiac arrhythmias
The symptoms of cardiovascular diseases often begin gradually. Some of those affected do not notice anything for years and often the first signs of cardiovascular diseases such as:
- shortness of breath
- Visual disturbances
- Fainting spells
- Chest tightness or attack-like pain behind the breastbone ( angina pectoris )
Even if there are already signs of cardiovascular disease, sport and exercise can still make a big difference. Even a daily walk strengthens the heart and blood vessels and can, for example, counteract the progression of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) – the main cause of many cardiovascular diseases. For this reason, sport nowadays plays an important role as therapy in the treatment of many clinical pictures.
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