Heart disease is a killer. Every year, more than 600,000 people in the United States die of heart disease—one in every four deaths,—according to the Centers for Disease Control. That’s why Dr. Madhav Devani and the team at Ross Bridge Medical Center are dedicated to helping you keep your heart healthy.
What is heart disease?
Heart disease is a general term for all the conditions that affect the way your heart beats and influence the way your vessels shuttle blood to and away from your ticker. Some leading heart disease conditions include coronary artery disease, heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias), hypertension, and congenital heart defects.
Heart disease can affect anyone, but the following conditions and choices put you at greater risk:
- Overweight and obesity
- Poor food choices
- Lack of physical activity
- Too much alcohol use.
Exercise helps keep your heart healthy
You don’t have to resign yourself to developing heart disease. You can make some wise choices now that will reduce your overall risk.
Regular exercise makes your heart stronger, helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and helps control blood sugar, preventing diabetes. But if you already have some form of heart disease, always talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen. And stop exercising if you become dizzy, feel chest pain, experience an irregular heartbeat, or have shortness of breath.
Here are five activities that can increase your heart health:
- Embrace interval training
Interval training, where you alternate between two activities that typically demand different rates of speed and effort, is considered one of the best ways to keep your heart strong and lose weight at the same time. The idea is to combine short times of high-intensity exercise with longer periods of recovery. This raises and lowers your heart rate, which burns calories and improves vascular function.
- Exercise every muscle
Total-body sports make your heart work harder to fuel all the muscles involved in the workout. Swimming, rowing, and walking while swinging your arms or using poles are great, non-impact ways to exercise without stressing your joints.
- Pump weights
Weight training increases your heart rate and strengthens muscles that reduce the burden on your heart. Lifting free weights is a great way to build muscles, improve balance, and engage your core.
- Practice yoga
Yoga not only improves muscle tone and strength, it can calm you and lower blood pressure, which makes your cardiovascular system more elastic.
- Move throughout the day
You don’t have to join a gym or pound a treadmill to strengthen your heart. You can be active throughout the day, which is better for your heart than exercising for an hour in the morning then sitting for the rest of the day. Vacuuming, gardening, and even pushing a cart through the grocery store all help to keep your heart healthy.
The team at Ross Ridge Medical Center wants you to live a long and healthy life. If you have any heart concerns or just need a wellness checkup, call the office at 205-494-7677 or book an appointment online today.