According to the World Health Organization(WHO) approximately 17.3 million people suffer a heart attack each year. The number varies based on geographic location, but an estimated 1.3 million Canadians are living with heart disease, as reported by the Heart and Stroke Foundation. So, what can be done to help combat current heart problems or prevent heart problems from occurring? The answer is more simple than you may think.
Exercise: The Answer
The most important thing you can do for your heart is to simply add exercise to your daily routine. We all know exercise is great for us in so many ways; it helps keep our weight down, keeps our muscles toned, combats depression, gives us better self-esteem, and makes us just feel better(due to the endorphins that are released in the brain when we exercise). Now, we know that exercise actually helps keep the heart healthy. One study noted, "participants who met or exceeded physical activity levels – 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes a week of vigorous exercise – had a 33 percent less chance of developing heart failure".
Since your heart is a muscle, it needs exercise just like all your other muscles do. Just imagine what would happen if you stopped working your leg muscles. They would become atrophied. Your heart muscle has an essential life-sustaining function, which is to pump blood to the rest of the body. If your heart(muscle) is in shape, it can pump out a good amount of blood without having to work as hard. But if you are out of shape, the heart must work harder to do its job.
Getting the heart in shape
When you provide your heart with daily exercise, you are strengthening your heart (muscle) just as you would any other muscle. As the heart gets stronger, it is able to pump out even more blood with less effort! This equals efficiency on the part of the heart. The efficient heart is a healthy heart!
Almost anyone at any age can improve their heart with exercise. If you would like to discuss this topic further, please contact us today!