There’s no denying that exercise is good for the body. It helps improve our overall strength and health, and can even help us maintain a healthy weight. Among its many benefits, regular exercise can also help keep our hearts healthy by reducing our risk of heart disease. Though there are plenty of different types of exercise to choose from, all are beneficial in their own way. So whatever your preferred activity may be, make sure to get exercising towards a healthy heart!
Exercise towards a Healthy Heart
Heart disease is an umbrella term that encompasses Coronary Heart Disease, heart failure, valve disease and arrhythmias. These are conditions in which the structure and function of the heart are altered.
Although deaths from heart disease have been decreasing over the past 10 years, it still accounts for nearly one in five (17.1%) deaths in Australia. On average 2.4% of the population is living with heart disease (Heart Foundation, 2020).
In many cases heart disease can be preventable with lifestyle modification. In cases of heart disease, long-term management can prevent further complications and manage symptoms.
The biggest risk factors for heart disease are:
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Family history of heart disease
- Increased BMI / weight
- Males are more likely to be diagnosed with heart disease.
How can I prevent/manage it:
EAT WELL: A well balanced diet that includes less processed foods and from a wide variety of food groups helps reduce the risk of higher blood pressure and increased pressure on the heart.
Check out the recipes from the heart foundation website for some ideas –
Regular exercise has many benefits, including:
- Strengthening your heart and blood vessels to make daily activities easier
- Improve your circulation and your bodies ability to use oxygen
- Lower blood pressure
- Help aid weight loss
- Improve sleep and energy levels
STOP SMOKING: Smoking is a large contributor to increased blood pressure and build up around the heart. Check in with your GP about smoking cessation tools and services to reduce your risk of heart disease.
If you are looking for ways to improve your heart health, regular exercise is a great place to start. There are many different types of exercises that can be beneficial for the heart, so it’s important to find an activity or program that fits your lifestyle and interests. Your physiotherapist can help you create a tailored exercise plan based on your individual needs and goals. Book an appointment today to get started on improving your heart health!