Are you in the 66% of men, or 50% of women, who will suffer from heart disease in the United States after the age of 40? Pretty scary statistics aren’t they? While cardiovascular disease, otherwise known as heart disease, is the primary killer for American adults there are simple measures you can employ to dramatically decrease your chances of adding to the figures. Physical activity reduces the risk of coronary artery disease, along with quitting smoking, losing weight, reducing stress levels, and lowering your blood cholesterol levels.
Not only will 30 minutes of daily physical activity lower your chances of heart disease, but the other benefits of daily exercise include losing some pounds, boosting your metabolism, reducing stress levels, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and stroke, and alleviating depression. In fact, that daily 30 minute quick walk can drop your chances of cardiovascular disease by as much as 32%.
The barest minimum requirements to reap the heart health benefits is 30 minutes of a moderate physical activity 5 times per week. Those who are younger, fitter, or just more energetic, will receive even more health benefits with 60 minutes exercise 5 times per week. Moderate physical activity is defined as anything that raises your pulse and breathing rate, while still allowing you to speak.
Daily heart health activities. (Often called cardio workouts.)
* Brisk walking. As we already mentioned a brisk walk can be just as effective as any other form of moderate physical activity. This is great news for those with limited budgets. Just pop on your runners and head for a walk around the block. Walking is also great for those just getting started, the elderly, and new mums who can just pack up their stroller and take off around the local park.
* Treadmills and exercise bikes are great alternatives for those who are unable to exercise outdoors. Many of these workout items come with built in cardio programs, which can make it even easier to exercise your heart.
* Family friendly activities such as kicking the ball, throwing the Frisbee, skating and riding bikes are all excellent ways to spend time with the family and get fit together.
* Swimming and aqua aerobics are great options for those who have access to pools, or who may suffer from joint conditions.
* Tennis, squash, soccer, dancing, aerobics, jogging, and any other activities that get your pulse raised are all cardio activities.
* Sadly, housework, gardening, and yard work when performed vigorously can count towards your daily cardio workout.
* If 30 minutes of activity is too much to start, begin with intervals of 10 minutes and slowly build up.
* Before embarking on any new physical activities it is important to get a clearance from your doctor. (You don’t want to be adding to the heart disease statistics by having a heart attack while trying to get fit.)
Moderate level physical activity reduces the risk of coronary artery disease dramatically and can be as simple and inexpensive as a 30-minute brisk walk 5 times a week. Heart attack or a 30-minute walk? Excuse me while I go walk my dog.