We all know that heart disease is a killer but just how seriously do you really take this disease? When you are young, heart disease can seem a very long way off. Improper eating habits, drinking alcohol or smoking will all eventually wreak havoc on your body but with the confidence of youth, often this information is not mentally processed but disregarded.
Being healthy in general is vital for your long term health prospects and that means eating well and exercising regularly. Many people forget that their heart is a muscle and you can strengthen it so that you achieve greater stamina and an increase of energy. Exercise also works to enable your tissues to be able to extra life giving oxygen from your blood as it circulates and this boosts your metabolism and helps to maintain blood fats too.
Cardiovascular exercise is very important in terms of heart maintenance and you can take up a sport or exercise regime that really works for you so that you thoroughly enjoy it and do not simply suffer getting fit for the sake of it. Exercise that works your heart include: running, dancing, swimming or skipping but any team sport such as football or hockey for example.
The key to a healthy heart is to mix your cardiovascular training with resistance training too which involves being able to control our weight using exercises such as squats, press-ups or the dreaded lunges. It might not increase your fitness in the same way but is excellent to increase your overall levels of fitness. If you have heart disease already or high blood pressure, you may wish to avoid resistance training.
You should also couple your cardiovascular exercise with regular stretching sessions. Yoga is the exercise regime that most people think of when they consider stretching but it’s certainly a good way to help lengthen your muscles and to relax your body. Staying flexible is important and a healthy spine can literally take years off of your age and an unhealthy spine can make you look so much older.
There are numerous books or DVD’s showing many of the traditional yoga postures but if you prefer hands-on coaching, it is worth going to a class to ensure that you achieve correct alignment within the postures so that you can increase the stretch and gain additional benefits. As with any exercise system, there may be exercises that you should avoid if you have certain medical conditions but the key to achieving optimum flexibility is to work with your body and not against it.
If you have not exercised for a long time, then you should certainly take a slow approach and then build up gradually. This will help you to avoid any of the following symptoms:
Extended bouts of cramp.
Always take any of these symptoms seriously and slow down or stop your exercise regime, and seek out medical assistance if you have concerns. The idea is to increase your fitness and not to make you ill. Exercise regularly and try for 30 minutes most days but it’s good to mix up your exercises so that you do not get bored.
Aim for an increasing but steady heart beat and you won’t go far wrong but don’t forget that as much as exercise is essential, so is fuelling your body by eating sensible foods. There is no point consuming bars of chocolates if you are moaning about your ever increasing waistline or that you huff and puff as you climb stairs. Swap those chocolates for healthy nuts and grains. Try sunflower and chia seeds as tasty snacks and swap your fizzy drinks for the odd fruit smoothie or for extra water.
By taking serious action to change your approach to diet and exercise, you will be doing your heart a great favour and can help to heal any damage that might have previously been done.