Can You Strengthen Your Heart?
Heart health is essential to overall wellness. Whatever condition it’s in today, you can take action to strengthen your heart. A good starting point is understanding how proper heart function affects other aspects of health.
Why Is It Important to Strengthen Your Heart?
Your heart works continually to move blood through your body. Proper blood flow is essential for delivering oxygen and nutrition to cells and helping the body remove waste. Consequently, ensuring your heart muscle can do its job effectively is crucial. When you exercise to strengthen your heart and improve your cardiac health, you also enjoy several other wellness benefits. For example, regular physical activity can help you manage your weight, lower cholesterol, and maintain a healthy blood pressure. It’s also helpful for controlling your blood sugar and managing diabetes if you have that condition. These benefits can reduce your risk of a heart attack, stroke, and other health problems.
How to Strengthen Your Heart
Improving your heart health is about more than simply getting more physical activity. Developing an exercise plan, sticking to it, and making specific lifestyle changes and improvements are crucial for the best results. Your Baptist Health physician can guide you on strengthening your heart based on your current health and goals.
Strengthen your heart with exercise
Getting adequate exercise is one of the best ways to strengthen your heart. Plus, depending on what types of activity you select, being more active can be a great way to spend time with friends or make new ones. When seeking to improve your heart health, remember three types of exercise you should have in our workout plan: aerobic exercise, resistance training (sometimes called strength training), and flexibility exercises.
Aerobic exercise is what most people associate with heart health. It’s the type that gets your heart pumping and your lungs working faster to keep up with the demand from tissues for oxygen and nutrients. Aerobic exercise includes activities like fast-paced walking, running, biking, swimming laps, etc. The optimum amount of activity for you depends on your overall health and fitness (and guidance from your doctor) but exercising for 30 minutes a day at least five days per week is a good rule of thumb.
Resistance or strength training includes lifting weights, using resistance bands, or doing things like push-ups and squats. This kind of exercise affects body composition, helping your body build lean muscle mass and reduce fat. You should have two non-consecutive days of resistance training in your weekly exercise plan.
Exercises that improve flexibility and balance don’t directly improve heart health but are critical. These activities address the health of your muscles and bones, enabling you to exercise with greater comfort and less injury risk. You should work on your flexibility and balance daily, particularly before and after aerobic and resistance exercises.
Improve your heart health with lifestyle changes and improvements
To improve heart health, you should also modify your lifestyle if appropriate. For example, you should adopt a heart-healthy diet, lower your stress level as much as possible, get adequate high-quality sleep, and have regular heart-related screenings.
Lifestyle changes and new exercise routines tend to reinforce one another. For example, when you exercise regularly, you’re likely to sleep better, and getting restorative rest helps provide the energy you need for the next day’s workout. So, if you’re wondering how to improve your heart function, you can’t beat the combination of exercise and a heart-healthy lifestyle!
Improve Heart Health with Baptist Health
Heart health is foundational to overall wellness and a good quality of life. Fortunately, it’s easy when you have a strategy that involves being more active and making necessary lifestyle modifications.
We encourage you to take our Heart Health Assessment. It’s quick, informative, and useful if you want to improve your heart health.