Get Moving for a Healthier Heart
Are you super-cautious about working out because it’s been a while since you were active, or you feel out of shape? Actually, exercise is great for you. Being active will:
Before you get started, ask your doctor these questions:
What You’ll Do
New to exercise? It helps to work with a certified fitness trainer at first. If you have heart problems, ask your cardiologist for a referral.
Cardio (aerobic exercise). This makes your heart beat faster. It also lowers your blood pressure. Depending on what your doctor approves, you could:
Strength training tones and builds up your muscles. Heavy weights may increase your blood pressure short term. So stick with lighter weights and just lift them more times. Try hand weights, weight machines at a gym, resistance bands, or your own body weight.
A good approach is to do several sets of each exercise, and then let those muscles rest a day or two between sessions.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Workout
If you’re an exercise newbie, you’ll get the most from your workout if you follow these simple rules:
Start slow. The American Heart Association recommends you work up to exercising on most days of the week. The more exercise you can do, the healthier you — and your heart — will be. But any amount helps your health.
Build up gradually. Little by little, make your workouts longer or tougher over time. You should be able to talk during your workout. If you can’t, it’s probably too intense for you.
Keep at it. It takes work to start and stick with any new habit. Exercise is no different. But there are ways to boost your chance of success.
Use these tips for a great workout:
Pay Attention to Your Body
Working out could make your muscles sore at first. That’s normal. The soreness will fade as your body gets used to exercising. But if you have any sudden or severe pain — or any of the following — stop exercising right away. If the symptoms continue, call your doctor or 911.