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The Importance of Physical Activity for Your Heart Health

physical activuty

Physical activity provides many positive effects on heart health. A regular exercise routine may help:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Decrease the risk of developing diabetes
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Reduce inflammation throughout the body

One of the key benefits of physical activity is that it helps control or modify any risk factors for heart disease. Smoking is another important factor for health disease, and if you exercise regularly, you are not likely to pick up a bad habit such as smoking or quit if you already smoke.


Additional benefits of physical activity:

  • It improves the muscles’ ability to extract oxygen from the blood, reducing the heart’s need to pump more blood to the muscles.
  • It reduces stress hormones that may put additional strain on the heart.
  • It works as a beta blocker to slow the heart rate and lower blood pressure.
  • It increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol and helps control triglycerides.

Several studies also show that individuals who do physical activity regularly are less likely to have a sudden cardiac arrest or another life-threatening cardiac event.

While physical has benefits in and of itself, the optimal way to avoid heart disease is to combine and balance exercise with a healthy diet. Physical activity alone may help with weight loss over a long period. But a short-term strategy is to lower the number of calories you ingest through diet while increasing the calories you use through physical activity.

Physical Activity Is Ideal For The Heart Health

Physical activity or exercise positively affects the heart and improves the skeletal and muscular systems.

The American Heart Association, in junction with the American College of Sports Medicine, suggests combining aerobic exercises such as jogging, swimming, or bicycling with resistance training like moderate weight lifting. Together, these two categories of physical activity produce the best benefit in controlling and preventing heart disease.

Physical Activity And Pregnancy

If you are having a healthy pregnancy and were already physically active regularly before you became pregnant, it is beneficial to maintain a moderate routine. This regimen may include walking, swimming, or biking. You will still receive the same cardiovascular benefits.

If you are pregnant and daily physical activity has not been a part of your life, you should probably stick with more gentle exercises. In both cases, it makes sense to seek your health provider’s advice.

Everybody Needs Physical Activity

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It is always a bright idea to add physical activity to your life, regardless of age or sex.

Physical activity has the potential to:

  • Drastically lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Help control and prevent risk factors such as:
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Osteoporosis
  • Obesity
  • Certain types of cancer
  • Increase energy
  • Reduce stress levels
  • Improve digestion
  • Improve sleep

You may see positive changes within the first week of regular physical activity. For example, you may begin to feel more energetic and relaxed, and your blood pressure may improve. Within three months, you may feel better and experience an improvement in your health, having a better posture and balance, stronger muscles and bones, more confidence, and a more positive perspective on life.

Because physical activity makes you feel better, you are more likely to choose a healthy lifestyle and avoid unhealthy ones, such as smoking, overeating, or drinking too much alcohol.

After an extended period, the importance of physical activity for your heart health becomes crucial, and you will avoid unnecessary risks and protect your heart.

On the other hand, physical activity experts link inactivity to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and the many disabilities they may cause. In addition, a lack of physical activity may increase your risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, certain types of cancer, obesity, falls and injuries, and depression.

Almost everyone may benefit from an active lifestyle. If you have arthritis or osteoporosis, physical activity is vital to keep you moving. People over sixty-five years old with poor mobility who engage in muscle and bone-strengthening activities may improve their balance and prevent falls. 

How Much Physical Activity And How Frequent?

General fitness guides call for a mixture of aerobic exercise and resistance training. Try to get a minimum of thirty minutes of aerobic exercise, such as walking, biking, or swimming, at least five days a week.

In addition, you should do moderate weight lifting to tone muscles and build muscular endurance twice a week or frequently enough to cover all the major muscle groups.

How Do You Know When You Are Progressing?

There are many ways to track your physical activity progress. Three of the most common  forms are:

  • Target heart rate for aerobic exercise.
  • Several repetitions for weight training.
  • Fat versus muscle body composition.


The fitter you are, your physical activity should be more challenging to attain your target heart rate.

For instance, in the initial month, you may have to walk three miles per hour to reach a heart rate of one hundred and twenty, while in the second month, to achieve the same heart rate, you must walk four miles per hour or find a steeper hill.

Your fitness improves, and your heart performs more efficiently.


The more weight you can lift twelve to fifteen times without straining, the stronger and more durable your muscles will be. For example, you start by struggling to curl with a fifteen-pound dumbbell fifteen times and then add three to five pounds when it is easy.


Be more physically active and exercise more; your body will change shape, lose fat around the waist, and gain muscle. A looser pair of pants or a skirt is a clear sign of progress.

Know When You Are Exceeding Your Physical Activity

Establishing a target heart rate with a health professional or qualified trainer is the easiest way to keep your training within a healthy range.

Stay within your target heart rate, and you will be training at the right level.

Go above your target heart rate, and you probably exercise too hard.

Stay below your target, and you will not be exercising hard enough to get the most cardiovascular benefit.

An important indication of overtraining is fatigue and soreness that persists more than a day or two after exercise. Any persistent soreness could mean you have strained or injured a muscle.

How To Follow A Workout Program

The clue to a successful training program is to stay interested and motivated. Next, we will show you some ways to keep physical activity as a lifelong habit:

  • Put aside a specific time to exercise each day and include it in your schedule.
  • Exercise or train with a friend or join a gym to do it in a group setting; whichever scenario builds mutual support and healthy competitiveness to maintain your physical activity interesting.
  • Maintain a simple log to chart your progress.
  • Create your log or graph on a spreadsheet.
  • Utilize one of the various available programs on the internet.
  • If you jog, brisk walk, or bike ride, use a heart rate monitor or speedometer to help you establish and achieve goals.

Importance Of Using Physical Activity To Tune Up Your Heart Health

If physical activity experts compare your initial fitness response to testing with responses three to six months later, they see progress:

  • Your oxygen consumption will be higher.
  • Your time on the treadmill will be longer.
  • Your blood pressure and heart rate will be lower.

It is as if you were tuning up your engine. Only in this case, your engine is your heart and the body’s circulatory system for distributing blood, and as a result, it runs more efficiently.

NOTE: Before starting a physical activity program, you should talk to your physician or healthcare provider to discuss what is best for you.

You are not alone; when you visit us at Modern Heart and Vascular clinics, you will meet a whole team of people working on your behalf. Our team of board-certified physicians, nurses, trainers, and other medical staff around you are here to help you return to your life and be more vital and better for the future.

At Modern Heart and Vascular, we are committed to placing our patients first and providing all the answers to your questions about heart health and heart conditions. We are accepting most major insurance companies, including Medicare. Some appointments are available.

We are Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, a diagnostic and preventative medicine cardiology practice. For more information, contact us.

Every heart has a story… What’s yours?

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Modern Heart and Vascular, a preventive cardiology medical practice, has several offices around Houston. We have locations in Humble, Cleveland, The Woodlands, Katy, and Livingston.

We are Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, a diagnostic and preventative medicine cardiology practice.

Every heart has a story… What’s yours?

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At the Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, we offer state-of-the-art cardiovascular care with innovative diagnostic tools and compassionate patient care. Our priority at Modern Heart and Vascular Institute is prevention. We help patients lead healthier lives by avoiding unnecessary procedures and surgeries.

Contact us online to learn more and book an appointment. If you’d like to learn more about our practice, read our providers’ bios.

This article does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need cardiovascular care, please call us at 832-644-8930.

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