Physical inactivity, high blood pressure, and smoking are risk factors for heart disease. So, be the exception rather than the rule. Exercise for a healthier heart.
Eight ways to help your heart
Look at all the ways exercise can help your heart:
Reduces your risk of developing heart disease
Lowers your risk of developing high blood pressure
Lowers blood pressure in some people who have high blood pressure
Raises your high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good," cholesterol
Lowers your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad," cholesterol
Lowers the amount of triglycerides, a form of fat, in your bloodstream
Helps you lose extra weight, which can strain your heart
Makes your heart and lungs work more efficiently
Over time, fat and cholesterol can build up in your blood vessels. When arteries that supply the heart and brain with blood become clogged, a heart attack can occur. Exercise can help keep the blood vessels open. This can help prevent heart disease or stroke.
Exercise may also protect against stroke. Walking, stair-climbing, dancing, jogging, and other activities of at least moderate intensity also reduce stroke risk.
Plus, exercise can help you prevent or manage several chronic diseases that become more common with age: type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and arthritis.
Both your body and mind can benefit from exercise. Exercise can help you manage stress. It's not clear whether stress affects the heart directly or has an effect on other risk factors and behaviors that affect the heart. These may include blood pressure, cholesterol levels, smoking, and overeating. Cutting down on stress, however, can at least make your life more enjoyable. Exercise can also boost your self-image and help counter anxiety and depression.
Which activities are right for you?
You don't have to strain your body to benefit from exercise. Even moderate exercise is good for you. The Centers for... [continues]
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