Exercise is a crucial factor to help you maintain a healthy heart.
A sedentary lifestyle is one of the top risk factors for heart disease.
Fortunately, it’s a risk factor that you can do something about. Regular exercise, especially aerobic exercise, has many benefits. It can:
- Lower blood pressure.
- Help reduce body fat and help you reach a healthy weight.
- Strengthen your heart and cardiovascular system.
- Improve your circulation and help your body use oxygen better.
- Improve your heart failure symptoms.
- Increase energy levels so you can do more activities without becoming tired or short of breath.
- Improve muscle tone and strength.
- Improve balance and joint flexibility.
- Strengthen bones.
- Help reduce stress, tension, anxiety and depression.
- Boost self-image and self-esteem.
- Improve sleep.
- Make you feel more relaxed and rested.
- Make you look fit and feel healthy.
Recent studies suggest that being physically active when you are middle aged can increase your life expectancy by two years – the same benefit as giving up smoking.
People of all ages who are physically active are half as likely to get cardiovascular disease as those that are inactive.
Being active at any age helps control your weight, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol and will provide long term benefits for your heart health and general health.
Before you start becoming more physically active, it’s important to seek advice from your GP, especially if you have a condition that you’re taking prescribed medication for.