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Exercise and Cardiovascular Health

Small Steps Lead to Lifelong Benefits

One of the ways that you can try to improve your cardiovascular health is to get up and get moving. In order to improve your total heart health, CSEP recommends that you get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week[1]. If that sounds like a big number, here’s a closer look at the benefits of exercise and the convenient ways in which you can fit physical activity into your week.

Exercise and cardiovascular health go hand in hand. Getting adequate exercise on a regular basis can have a positive effect on just about all of the major risk factors for heart disease. Research has shown that exercise can:

  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Reduce body weight
  • Reduce bad cholesterol (LDL)
  • Increase good cholesterol (HDL)

Now that the reasons you should exercise are clear, how do you fit those minutes into your week? One easy way is to break it up. If you can’t fit in 30 minutes of activity all at once, break it up into short segments of sustained exercise that you perform throughout the day. It could be as simple as going for a brisk 10-minute walk after each meal!

If you’re looking for a way to fit vigorous exercise into your schedule, try interval training. Interval training is the practice of repeating short, high-intensity bouts of activity followed by rest periods of moderate intensity. For instance, if you work out on an exercise bike, warm up for about 10 minutes, then pick up the pace and ride at a near-sprint for 30 seconds. Follow this sprint with an easy-to-moderate recovery pace for 90 to 120 seconds. If you’re more of a walker than a biker, try adding small segments of jogging or power-walking into your usual walk. Interval training is that easy.

As always, you should consult your doctor before adding regular exercise to your life. And now that you know the incredible benefits that exercise can provide, get in touch with your doctor soon so that you can get moving as soon as possible!

[1]http://www.csep.ca/CMFiles/Guidelines/CSEP_PAGuidelines_adults_en.pdf