Auburn, Ala.—The heart is one of the most important organs in the body. It constantly pumps blood throughout the body so that the body receives the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function.
Exercise, or a lack there of, and bad eating habits can negatively affect the heart and are linked to cardiovascular diseases and other conditions. Specifically, lack of exercise and bad eating habits increase the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, congestive heart failure and other health problems.
“Exercise improves the flow of blood to the heart and throughout the body. It reduces the risk of developing high cholesterol and blood pressure, improves mood, sleeping, balance and increases energy,” said Dr. Tamara Warren, an Alabama Cooperative Extension System specialist in human nutrition, diet and health. ” It also lowers risk of developing chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, some forms of cancer, and it strengthens bones and muscles.”
Sometimes starting an exercise routine is easier said than done. It is recommended that adults get 30 minutes of exercise per day and youth exercise for 60 minutes per day.
“The best exercise for beginners is walking,” Warren said. “They should start in 10 minute segments and build up. Walking is a great cardiovascular/aerobic exercise.”
Chair exercises are a good alternative for individuals who cannot physically walk for an extended time or distance. Aerobic, muscle and bone strengthening exercises can be done from a chair.
Warren suggests eating a meal not heavy in fat, sugar and sodium, at least 30 minutes to an hour before exercising to provides the body energy during exercising.
Exercise and practicing healthy eating habits help reduce the risk of many cardiovascular diseases. For beginners, there are many ways to ease into an exercise routine. The important part is to start.
- Protect Yourself Against Heart Disease
- Total Body Workou.