There are many different ways that exercise benefits your heart. And all of these benefits come from the fact that exercise promotes healthy blood flow throughout your body, and boosts the oxygen level in your brain. When your blood flow is unrestricted, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard. And when your brain receives plenty of oxygen, it operates more effectively. From a simple walk through your local park to an intense session of strength training, exercise benefits your heart in the following 5 ways.
Exercise lowers your blood pressure
As a drug-free way to lower your blood pressure, exercise is the best option. High blood pressure affects more than 75 million Americans, and claims hundreds of millions of global victims. Moderate strength training twice a week and moderate to vigorous levels of aerobic physical activity 3 to 5 times a week is all you need to help lower your blood pressure and make your heart healthier.
Exercise makes your heart stronger
Aside from decreasing the workload a weak body places on the heart, exercise physically makes your heart stronger. The heart is a muscle, just like any other muscle in your body. Exercise makes the muscles in your arms, legs and core weaker by stressing them. During the recovery period those muscles become stronger than they were before you exercised. During strenuous exercise, your heart beats faster and harder. When you relax after periods of physical exertion, your heart, just like any other muscle, repairs itself and becomes stronger.
Exercise decreases your risk of contracting heart diseases
In many cases, doctors and health care professionals have found that exercise is a more effective treatment for lowering your chances of developing any number of heart diseases than medication. And in conjunction with prescribed medicine, moderate to intense levels of exercise and physical exertion can help keep diabetes, coronary heart disease, heart failure and stroke at bay. 3 to 5 weekly aerobic sessions lasting at least 20 minutes is enough exercise to substantially lower your risks of contracting heart disease.
Exercise improves blood flow throughout your body
You already know that exercise makes your heart beat faster. This is so that blood can carry oxygen to every part of your body. Exercise is simply physical exertion, and when human beings exert themselves physically, your natural “fight or flight” response powers up your muscles. This improved blood flow on a regular basis keeps your arteries and veins clear of obstruction, which makes your blood flow properly. Healthy blood flow means your heart does not have to work as hard to do its job, and you are healthier for it.
Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight
The link between overweight and heart problems is no big mystery. For every extra pound you weigh over your ideal weight you are placing more stress on your heart. This can result in a number of heart diseases and circulatory problems throughout your body. Exercise is the simplest and most proven way to effectively reach and maintain your healthy body weight. When your natural body weight is reached and you use exercise to help you maintain it, your heart benefits from a decreased workload and less stress.