Exercise Your Heart Muscle
An inactive lifestyle is one of the top risk factors for heart disease. Fortunately, it's a risk factor that you can do something about. Regular exercise, especially aerobic exercise, has many benefits. This type of activity can do the following:
- Strengthen your heart and cardiovascular system
- Improve your circulation and help your body use oxygen better
- Improve your heart failure symptoms
- Increase energy levels so you can do more activities without becoming tired or short of breath
- Increase endurance
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve muscle tone and strength
- Improve balance and joint flexibility
- Strengthen bones
- Help reduce body fat and help you reach a healthy weight
- Help reduce stress, tension, anxiety and depression
- Boost self-image and self-esteem
- Improve sleep
- Make you feel more relaxed and rested
- Make you look fit and feel healthy
Always check with your doctor before starting an exercise program. Your doctor can help you find a program that matches your level of fitness and physical condition. Here are some questions to ask:
- How much exercise can I do each day?
How often can I exercise each week?
What type of exercise should I do?
What type of activities should I avoid?
Should I take my medication(s) at a certain time around my exercise schedule?
Do I have to take my pulse while exercising?
Once you have talked with your physician, choose an activity that you enjoy. Exercise takes on many forms. You'll be more likely to stick with an exercise program if you enjoy the activity. Have fun!
To learn one of the ways Sutter Health affiliates are working together to fight heart disease click here:
Sutter Health's Congestive Heart Failure Initiative.