Tags: exercise boosts heart health | Joseph Libonati | FIT | FIT and heart health | recipe for healthy heart

How Exercise Boosts Heart Health

Thursday, 10 May 2012 12:13 PM


Everyone knows that exercise is good for heart health, but many may be a bit fuzzy on exactly why getting off the couch and moving is so important. Joseph Libonati, Ph.D., a cardiac physiology expert at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing explains why exercise is such a vital part of keeping your heart healthy.
First, exercise benefits the heart by decreasing its workload. "Exercise improves the ratio between the heart’s demand for oxygen and its supply through the coronary arteries," says Libonati. "With exercise, the heart gets stronger because it gets bigger and is able to pump more efficiently."
Second, exercise lowers blood pressure by improving the ability of blood vessels to dilate, thus lowering the pressure on them. "Exercise also improves your blood sugar levels and makes you leaner;" he says. "This allows your heart to pump blood at lower pressures, thereby making your heart work less."
Exercise that uses large muscles repetitively is best for heart health. "Think about the acronym FIT," says Libonati:
F — Frequency
I — Intensity
T— Time
"That's the general recipe for a healthy heart," he says. " You should exercise five days a week. Find something you like so you are more likely to stick with it. For intensity: You should do the talk test. If you can hold a normal conversation with little breathing trouble while exercising, this is the right intensity. For time: You should exercise 30 to 60 minutes per day, and it doesn’t have to be all at once. The important factor is that you do as much physical activity as you can throughout the day."
In addition to boosting heart health, exercise also helps maintain healthy bones and muscles. Resistance or weight training helps retain muscle mass, so be sure to include this type of exercise in your daily fitness routine. Maintaining muscle mass, says Libonati, can help reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.






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Everyone knows that exercise is good for heart health, but many may be a bit fuzzy on exactly why getting off the couch and moving is so important.
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2012-13-10
Thursday, 10 May 2012 12:13 PM
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