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Physical Activity: Your Personal Healthy Heart Prescription

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Physical Activity-Your Personal Healthy Heart PrescriptionIf you’ve ever worked out, you’ve certainly felt the immediate effects of exercise – your heart speeds up as your body demands more oxygen, your breathing rate increases and you start to sweat to cool your body. All of those things go back to normal as soon as you stop exercising, but, what you may not know is that exercising consistently can actually change how your heart functions.

Regular exercise:
Lowers your resting heart rate (RHR). A heart that’s in good shape actually beats fewer times when you’re at rest. That’s why many athletes have resting heart rates as low as 40 or 50 beats per minute. As you exercise, you’ll find your RHR will decrease as you get into better shape.

Makes the heart more efficient. Consistently exercising the heart makes it work harder for you with less effort expended. That means normal activities become easier since your heart doesn’t have to work as hard.

Strengthens the heart. Just like lifting weights repeatedly can make your muscles stronger, regular cardio exercise actually makes your heart (which is also a muscle) stronger. The stronger your heart is, the more blood it can pump with each beat. That means your body gets oxygen faster and more efficiently.

Helps you recover faster. When you exercise regularly, it doesn’t take as much time for your heart rate to return to baseline. That recovery time becomes faster and faster as you get in shape. Tracking recovery heart rate is one way experts track improved fitness levels.

Protects your health. As your heart gets stronger, it reduces your risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes and high cholesterol.

Increases good cholesterol. Not only does it increase good cholesterol, regular exercise also decreases bad cholesterol (LDL) which means there may be less plaque built up in the arteries. Less plaque means blood can flow freely to and from the heart.

It’s amazing that something as simple as moving your body can have such dramatic benefits but even knowing this, some of us still aren’t exercising. If that sounds familiar, you may feel relieved to learn that you don’t have to exercise for hours a day to get the benefits. Even just a little movement can make a difference. Learn what you can do to exercise your heart.

If you want to lose fat or make major changes in your body, you’ll need to do more exercise and work a little harder at it but, for health benefits, shooting for at least 20-30 minutes a day is a great place to start.

The minimum recommendation for almost anyone with any goal is about 20-30 minutes but, when setting up your workouts, go by what you can handle. For example, a beginner might want to start with 5-15 minutes and work up from there. If you have a busy schedule, you may want to split your workouts, which is just as effective as continuous exercise. Don’t skip exercise just because you can’t do 20 minutes. Any movement is always better than nothing. Don’t be afraid to be creative with your time or to start small. Start where you are, not where you want to be.

Moderate intensity usually means you’re working at about 60 to 70% of your maximum heart rate. That doesn’t mean you only have to work at this level. Throwing in some high intensity bursts throughout your workout is great for your heart (not to mention your calorie-burn) and longer, slower workouts at a lower intensity have great benefits as well. Incorporating a mix of intensities will keep things interesting while benefitting your heart even more.

Like the other exercise elements, how often you exercise is up to you, what you can handle and what your schedule allows. If you’re a beginner, you may start with three days a week with a day of rest in between. More advanced exercisers may do something every day of the week. The more you exercise, the more you’ll want to exercise so, again, start with what feels good to you and go from there.

The trainers at Anytime fitness can assist you with finding a workout that you enjoy and help keep things interesting by adding different exercises based on your fitness level. It doesn’t matter if you are just beginning or an avid exerciser, the friendly and knowledgeable team at Anytime fitness is ready to help you get or stay heart strong. Finally, remember these tips to success for any exercise routine: stop making excuses, focus on your heart and overall health, keep it simple and be flexible.

Anytime Fitness
10700 US Hwy 441, Suites 106, 107 & 108
Leesburg, FL 34748
352-742-2008

16770 South hwy 441, Summerfield Fl 34491
352-307-0700

2221 West County Rd 48, Bushnell, FL 33513
352-569-1015

www.anytimefitness.com

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