Exercises For
Heart Health

quote from: http://www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/814921/5-best-exercises-to-improve-heart-health-1

You don’t need to be a hardcore athlete to boost your heart health. Moderate exercise can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses as well as improve your endurance, strength and flexibility. Any amount and type of physical activity is beneficial for your overall health, but read on for the amount of exercise and the top five exercises that will best benefit your heart.


How much exercise do you need for heart health?

Experts recommend doing some form of moderate aerobic activity for at least 150 minutes or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week. You can spread the minutes out in any manner that works for your schedule. For example, you can take a 22-minute walk each day (moderate) or run 15 minutes five times per week (vigorous). The key is scheduling some form of moderate to vigorous cardiovascular activity into your week and actually doing it.

5 Best exercises to improve heart health

Aerobic or cardiovascular exercise is any form of activity that increases your respiratory and heart rate, essentially challenging your heart to work harder and become stronger. Cardiovascular fitness will improve the way your body uses oxygen. As your heart becomes stronger, you will find that you aren't winded walking up the stairs, you can perform physical activity longer, and your resting heart rate will be lower, meaning your heart is more efficient at pumping blood through your body. Though any aerobic exercise is good for your heart, these five physical activities are top-notch for heart health.

1. Brisk walking

The human body was born to walk. Whether you rack up the miles on a treadmill or hit the road, brisk walking is a natural way to improve your fitness. Wear supportive, comfortable walking shoes, strap on your iPod and get moving. Though a leisure stroll is better than sitting on your couch, push yourself to walk at a fast pace to achieve a moderate intensity level.

2. Running

Though more challenging than walking, running is another heart-healthy physical activity that the human body is ready-made to do (barring physical limitations or injuries). In addition, it is one of the best ways to burn calories (a 150-pound person can burn 100 calories per mile), a bonus if you are also trying to lose weight to reduce your risk of heart disease. If you are a beginner to running, start out with a brisk walk and add 1 to 2 minutes of running every 5 minutes of walking. As you get more fit, you can increase the minutes you run until you don't need to walk in between.

3. Swimming

The pool may be a great place to float lazily along, but that water can also be a full body fitness challenge. Swimming laps or even participating in water fitness classes will not only raise your heart rate and improve your heart health, the water provides multi-directional resistance that will improve your muscular strength and tone. Swimming is a safe alternative if you have joint problems that walking or running can aggravate.

4. Cycling

Another cardiovascular activity that is easy on the joints, cycling is a low-impact exercise that you can do solo in the gym, in a spin class, or outside on the road or trails. Make efficient use of your cycling time and bike to work or to do your errands. Even better, join a cycling club and enjoy the camraderie. While your heart is pumping you'll also be building strength and toning your lower body as well as your core muscles, if you take your bike off-road.

5. Interval or circuit training

If doing a solid stint of aerobic exercise bores you tears, mix up your cardio. For example, for every 3 minutes of cardio, do 1 strength training exercise or a high-intensity burst of cardio for 1 minute. Another option is to choose 5 to 10 strength training exercises and perform 1 set of each, doing lower weight and higher repetitions while moving quickly from one exercise to the next to keep your heart rate up. This type of training will not only keep you motivated to exercise, it will improve your muscular strength, endurance and heart health.

Before you start a new exercise plan, talk to your doctor to make sure the physical activities you want to do are appropriate for your age, health and fitness condition.


Heart Health  Myths Debunked

by Michele Borboa

quote from: http://www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/814923/3-heart-disease-myths-busted-1

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US, striking more than 1 in 4 Americans each year. Though heart disease awareness has increased, so have unfounded beliefs that actually raise the risk of having a fatal heart event. Here are three heart disease myths debunked – get the facts and protect your heart health.

Woman drinking red wine

3 Common misbeliefs that raise your risk of heart disease

1. Heart disease only strikes older people

Just because the majority of movies and TV shows portray heart attack victims as being older, heart disease can strike young adults and even kids. The prevalence of obesity in both adults and children has resulted in a rise in risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and incidence of heart disease across all ages.

Certainly, the older you are, the higher your risk for heart disease, but believing you shouldn't worry about your heart health until you get older not only increases your chances of having a heart event at an earlier age, it also increases the risk of a fatal heart event. Regardless of your age, talk to your doctor about your heart disease risk factors and ways to protect your heart health.

>>Start today: 10 Ways to reduce your heart disease risk

2. Alcohol is good for the heart

It's true that research suggests that a little alcohol can boost your heart health, but that doesn't give you a free pass to binge drink or take this heart-health tip to the extreme. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends drinking alcohol in moderation. What does this mean? An average of one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. A drink is 12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine or 1 to 1-1/2 ounces of hard liquor.

Drinking too much alcohol actually raises triglyceride levels in the blood, increases blood pressure, and the extra calories from alcohol can lead to obesity – all of which are risk factors for heart disease. In addition, binge drinking can lead to stroke and other potentially deadly heart conditions. Red wine has been the gold standard for the type of alcohol related to heart health, specifically because it is associated with an increase in HDL (good for you) cholesterol, but further research is being conducted to determine if other forms of alcohol are as beneficial.

It should be noted that the AHA recommends diet and exercise as primary ways to protect heart health and to not rely on alcohol in any form to ward off heart disease.

triglyceride: 甘油三酸酯     cholesterol: 胆固醇

>>If you must drink, try these heart-healthy cocktails.

3. People who are fit aren't at risk for heart disease

Regular exercise, a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight are key factors in reducing your risk for heart disease, but there are other factors that hurt your heart, specifically the risk factors you cannot control. Uncontrollable risk factors include: male, post-menopausal female, family history of heart disease, older, and/or African American, American Indian, or Mexican American (these ethnicities have a higher risk of heart disease than Caucasians). Other risk factors that increase your risk of heart disease are diabetes, high cholesterol, Type A personality, chronic stress, or having hostility or anger management issues.

You may be able to run a marathon, but if you neglect to address other heart disease risk factors in your life, you actually increase your chances of suffering a heart event. Stick to your health and fitness routine but be aware that having peak fitness doesn't make you immune to heart disease.


post-menopausal female: 停經後進入更年期的女性

Caucasians: 白種人


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