All activity, regardless of type, benefits your heart. The more active you are, the more your heart will benefit. The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. How you do that is completely up to you! Your routine can be as easy or as hard as you want it to be. What’s most important is finding activities that keep you moving!
Benefits of being active
There are immediate benefits of activity and exercise for your heart:
- Increases blood circulation throughout your body. This allows muscles to work together more effectively.
- Improves the body’s ability to use oxygen, which gives you more energy.
- Helps you handle stress better and increases your enthusiasm and optimism.
- Helps your psychological well-being. It releases tension and aids in relaxation – which will help you sleep better at night.
- Helps control your weight.
There are two main categories of exercise – aerobic and anaerobic exercise – both are beneficial to your health. In aerobic exercises, such as walking and cycling, oxygen is used to fuel your muscles. In anaerobic exercises, such as weight lifting and sprinting, your muscles are deprived of oxygen and must use sugar for energy. These types of exercises tire your muscles quickly, which is why they are done at a higher intensity for a shorter amount of time.
Which exercises are better for your heart? Aerobic exercise is better. It allows your heart rate to increase gently and teaches your heart how to take on increasing demand. But it is still important to combine both aerobic and anaerobic exercises into your fitness routine.
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