Physical Activity for a Healthy HeartFriday, January 27th, 2012, 1:02 am
Heart Disease is still the leading cause of death in the United States, affecting millions of Americans each and every year. As the American Heart Association (AHA) puts it, heart disease refers to “problems related to plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries… As the plaque builds up, the arteries narrow, making it more difficult for blood to flow and creating a risk for heart attack or stroke.” So what’s one of your best weapons against this deadly condition? The answer is simple: physical activity.
Here are a few ways regular exercise can contribute to your heart health:
- Exercise strengthens your heart. Your heart is a muscle, and like any muscle, exercise will make it stronger. A stronger muscle is a better-functioning muscle, and when it comes to your heart, this means increased blood flow.
- Exercise can lower blood pressure. Uncontrolled high blood pressure damages your heart. While there are several factors that can contribute to high blood pressure, healthy exercise can often stack the odds in your favor.
- Exercise can lower bad cholesterol. Too much cholesterol in your blood is one of the biggest risk factors for developing heart disease. Research has demonstrated that healthy, appropriate exercise can help combat high levels of cholesterol.
Whether you’re walking, cycling or participating in organized sports, the AHA reminds us that “by exercising for as little as 30 minutes a day, you can reduce your risk of heart disease.” It’s that simple.
Another Benefit of Healthy Physical Activity…
While we’ve already seen the effects healthy exercise can have on your heart, it’s important to point out another huge benefit of regular physical activity—weight control. When it comes to weight, we all know that obesity is a serious problem. But, do you ever consider that excess weight might be taking its toll on your bones and joints? Those that are obese are at a higher risk for developing certain joint disorders, such as Arthritis. When a patient requires a procedure such as Knee Surgery, excess weight can be a huge roadblock when recovering from the operation. Simply put, there is only so much weight you can comfortably put on a newly-operated knee.
Preventing and Treating Exercise Injuries
While there are certain steps you can take to reduce your risk for exercise injuries—warming up & cooling down, using proper form, etc.—some injuries are simply inevitable. So, who should you turn to when you’ve sustained an exercise or sports-related injury? Your best bet is a Specialist in Sports Medicine. Should the need arise, don’t hesitate to contact us and schedule an appointment. We practice Orthopedic and Sports Medicine in Worcester, serving the surrounding areas. Schedule you appointment at (508) 363-6363.
Category: Health & Fitness