Physical exercise can improve more than just heart health and overall strength and endurance. It also has a positive effect on oxygen delivery, ease of movement, and an improved sense of well being. Learn more about exercise:
- Exercise In-Depth: Learn how increased fitness can reduce the risk of many chronic illnesses, and what to consider when starting an exercise program.
- How Exercise Works: Take a detailed look at the way your body’s responses help your muscles work, and how training can enhance your responses.
- Exercise to Treat Coronary Heart Disease: Explore the ways that physical activity makes the heart stronger, which helps reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
- How to Exercise During Pregnancy: Get tips and guidelines for safe and effective workouts for expectant mothers.
Everyone knows that regular physical activity can strengthen your muscles and improve your endurance. But your heart, a muscle, can also benefit from physical activity. In fact, exercise helps protect against heart disease and reduces symptoms in people who already have heart disease.
Regular physical activity can lower triglycerides and help raise HDL cholesterol. When it results in weight loss, physical activity can also play a key role in managing the metabolic syndrome and reducing LDL cholesterol. Moreover, it reduces the risk of other chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure -- risk factors for coronary heart disease -- as well as osteoporosis and some cancers. Physical activity is an integral part of an overall healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and not smoking, that can lower your risk of heart disease.
Exercise benefits the body in a number of ways. Most importantly, it improves aerobic capacity (the body's ability to take in and use oxygen during exercise), and it increases muscular strength. Both aerobic exercise and resistance training promote physical fitness and benefit your heart and overall health.
To learn more about these and other types of exercise, see the next page.