When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, people prioritize having proper diet and nutrition. However, a healthy diet is only part of a well-structured lifestyle. The other important part is exercise. Exercise allows all systems in your body to perform optimally. Exercise strengthens and stretches your muscles. It lowers your blood pressure and your HDL cholesterol level, reducing your risk of heart attack or stroke. Exercise reduces stress and even increases your confidence level, as your overall health and appearance improves.
How Much Exercise is Needed
If you used to have a sedentary lifestyle it is not recommended that you immediately jump into an intense exercise program. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. This can be done by increments of 30 minutes daily, five times a week. If you just started exercising or have not done it in a long time, it starts with increments of 10 to 15 minutes per day and increases gradually until reaching 30 minutes.
Types of Physical Activity
No activity is prohibited unless you have a medical condition that limits your ability to perform certain types of exercise. Have your doctor perform a general exam before starting any training regimen. If you have any heart disease or any other chronic condition, your doctor can design an exercise program specifically tailored to your needs. Any activity that requires moving your body and burning calories is a good exercise, whether it is walking, climbing stairs, swimming, dancing, hiking, cycling, playing sports or using a static bike. You are more likely to stick to the exercise program if
you choose an activity you enjoy doing and you can make it more fun if you invite a friend, or family member to accompany you.
According to the American Heart Association, a normal healthy heart beats 100,000 times each day and pumps 2,000 gallons of oxygen-rich blood flowing through your arteries to organs, and body tissues. By the time you reach age 70, your heart will have beaten more than 2.5 billion times. Exercise strengthens your heart, allowing you to pump more efficiently and deliver more oxygen to your body.
The main function of the lungs is to deliver oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the body. Regular exercise helps the lungs function more efficiently and allows the lungs to absorb more oxygen. Even people who suffer from chronic lung problems can benefit from the regular physical activity. Exercise strengthens the muscles of the limbs and improves endurance, which in turn reduces shortness of breath associated with chronic lung conditions.