BestLife recently shared a survey revealing the most popular New Year’s resolutions for 2021. The first one was to exercise more (and lose weight). A commitment to working out is a resolution that we at CTVS can whole “heartedly” get behind, because exercise and its countless benefits to the heart are near and dear to us.
Regular exercise is one of the greatest things you can do to prevent a heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular disease while also positively impacting your overall health and well-being.
Some of the heart healthy benefits of exercise include:
- Strengthening the heart muscle and improving blood flow and circulation
- Raising HDL, or the good, cholesterol levels
- Contributing to weight loss
- Lowering blood pressure
- Boosting your mood (and who couldn’t use a little of that in 2021?)
How much exercise or activity should I aim for each day?
Our board-certified cardiothoracic surgeons at CTVS agree with the American Heart Association in recommending that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate to intense aerobic activity per week. Examples of moderate exercise activities include walking/hiking, biking, swimming, dancing, jumping rope, or playing a sport that keeps you moving and on your toes, like tennis or basketball. Anything that increases your heart rate is a good thing.
One tip to help kick off your resolution is to start gradually. Add a few extra minutes to your routine each day rather than going all out, which often leads to fatigue quickly and then losing interest in your commitment all together.
If you have recently recovered from a heart attack, stroke, or other serious illness or injury however, always check with your physician first about returning to your normal or an increased amount of physical activity.
Which activities are best for the heart?
Any aerobic activity that boosts your heart rate and gets blood flowing is beneficial. Brisk walking or running, swimming and cycling are all easy activities that can be done on your own and are excellent. If you are looking for activities with a more social element, consider joining a gym or an adult sports league. The most important thing is to find something that you enjoy doing so that you will continue doing it regularly.
In addition to exercise, following a well-balanced diet and quitting smoking can do wonders for your health. Smoking raises your risk for lung cancer as well as other serious diseases. Committing to a smoking cessation program in 2021 is also an essential goal if dedicated to improving your heart health.
We wish the happiest of new years to all our patients and their families! If we can help you with your healthy heart goals for 2021, please visit us at ctvstexas.com or call (512) 459-8753 to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.