Posted on 02-05-2013
Many folks have asked me what is the best way to care for my heart. Thats easy as reported by the Cooper Insitute! Don't smoke, consume sufficient quantities of omega 3 fatty acids, eliminate trans fat from your diet, and do aerobic exercise!
Which Activity is Best?
When deciding what type of aerobic activity to include in your workout routine, you should consider your current conditioning level. Are you extremely conditioned or deconditioned? If you are extremely deconditioned, it would not be beneficial for you to run for only 30 seconds because that is all you can do. Although the 30 seconds may feel draining, your body could go into an anaerobic state and utilize a completely different energy system during that time. It would be better for you to walk and sustain an elevated heart rate for an extended period of time.
On the other hand, if you are well-conditioned you need to integrate an activity that will get your heart rate into an upper zone causing you to exert yourself, ultimately building a strong, healthier heart.
Amp Up Your Cardio for Heart Health
The American Heart Association recommends setting a goal of 10,000 steps a day. This may sound like a lot, but this includes each step you take – regardless whether you are working out or not. From the time you get up to when you go to sleep, each step counts.
You may work in a field where you are on your feet all the time and can easily reach this goal and see the clear impact it has on your health. Someone with a sedentary job will need to set aside more time in the day for a longer workout. If you are deconditioned, 10,000 steps may seem like a challenge. You can always set lower goals and work towards it. Remember that something is better than nothing!
Instead of walking or running, you may prefer a different aerobic activity like swimming or working out on a different piece of equipment such as the elliptical. If this is the case, set a goal to exercise for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. As reported from the Cooper Institute, research has shown that this is the magic number to reap the benefits of heart health, prevent diabetes, cancer and other diseases, and improve quality and quantity of life. If you cannot exercise for 30 minutes a day, start with 15 to 20 minutes and work your way up. It does not have to be all at once, so try doing 10 minutes in the morning and 10 in the evening.
When you are working to improve your health, it has also been shown that exercising at a moderate intensity can boost your fitness level. You want your activity to be hard, but also something that you can maintain for an extended period of time. If you are doing something at too high of an intensity, you won’t be able to maintain it long and it can often lead to overexertion.
Along with setting these goals, it is always beneficial to find a workout partner or someone to train to hold you accountable to your goals.
A Key to Success
The leading reason that most people do not maintain and stick with an exercise regimen is often due to injury. Many people experience discomfort or pain when developing new exercise habits. The best way to avoid injuries from walking or running is to keep your body and ankles in alignment.
When running or walking, you should consider your how your hips and spine are aligned. If you are unsure, you should call our office and set up a complimentary consultation with our Doctor of Chiropractic on staff. It is also important to understand ankle position, along with how and where your foot strikes the ground in relation to your hips. These alignments are relatively easy to remedy without a lot of intensive, difficult exercise.
Hopefully, this information provides you with the knowledge you need to start an effective fitness plan to build a strong, healthy heart.
Have a blessed day!
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