Exercise is a major component of heart health and is critical to preventing chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease. Studies have found that those who meet the minimum requirements reduce their chances of cardiovascular events by 30 to 40 percent.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the recommendations for aerobic or cardiovascular exercise are:
- 150 minutes per week (30 minutes five days per week) of moderate intensity aerobic exercise. The 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise may be broken into segments of 10-15 minutes but must be sustained for at least 10 minutes per session.
- 75 minutes per week (25 minutes three days per week) of vigorous intensity aerobic exercise. Keep in mind that meeting the guidelines for physical activity does not make up for an otherwise sedentary lifestyle.
Benefits of Aerobic Exercise:
- Strengthen the heart and blood vessels
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL)
- Increase high density lipoprotein (HDL)
- Improve the flow of oxygen
- Reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and some cancers.
- For diabetics, it helps to increase the body’s ability to use insulin to control blood glucose levels.
- Lower heart rate
- Help to maintain or lose weight
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