Your heart is such a powerful muscle. Like a well-oiled machine, it pumps 1.5 gallons of blood a minute throughout the body, keeping you going day-in and day-out. But your heart’s resiliency doesn’t come from just anywhere. Regular physical activity is needed to ensure both short- and long-term heart health. In fact, exercise is the single most important component for a healthy heart.
As we transition from the cooler months to spring, we will have more opportunities to take our exercise routines outside. However, knowing that New Hampshire’s weather can change on a dime, be sure to take note of all the indoor activities available, like aerobics, a fun group class, or resistance training to maintain an active lifestyle and keep your heart going strong.
Why Exercise is Good for Your Heart
Think about a specific skill or hobby you’re really good at, like project management or painting. You probably needed the right tools, resources, and practice to help you improve. Exercise does the same thing for your heart.
Your heart muscle has many responsibilities, such as pulling oxygen from your blood and pumping your blood out of the lungs and back into the rest of your body. Regular physical activity strengthens your heart muscle so that it pulls oxygen from the blood more easily and pumps out more blood with each beat. All this allows your heart to work better under stress and maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
Exercise provides even more heart healthy benefits, including:
- Increased endurance for longer exercise sessions
- Increased levels of HDL cholesterol or “good” cholesterol
- Lower risk for heart disease
- The building of new branches and connections between blood vessels
- Improved heart failure systems
A sedentary lifestyle or a lack of exercise can increase your risk for high blood pressure, weight gain, and heart disease.
How Much Exercise is Needed for a Healthy Heart?
Research shows that even just 30 minutes of activity a day can improve your heart health. But if you really want to protect your heart and stay active during the winter season, your source of truth is the American Heart Association.
They recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as dancing, biking, and brisk walking. If none of those activities interest you, the American Heart Association says you can trade in moderate-intensity aerobic activity for at least 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity. This type of activity includes running, swimming laps, and aerobic dancing.
If you’re new to exercising, it’s important that you speak with your healthcare professional. They can help you determine what activities are safest for you and how much exercise per week you should start with.
We also shouldn’t forget that emotional and mental well-being play a role in your heart health. Happiness and emotional vitality (alongside regular exercise) can help lower your risk of heart disease. At Silverstone Living, we offer enrichment programming that addresses all seven dimensions of wellness. Activities like happy hours, art classes, and lecture series can keep you socially, emotionally, and intellectually satisfied – all important aspects needed for a fulfilling life and healthy heart.
Silverstone Living offers various senior wellness and fitness options to help you maintain an active, independent lifestyle. From our in-house exercise room and instructor-led exercise classes to various program activities, there’s plenty of ways for you to stay active and keep your heart healthy all year round.
If you’re ready to find out more about our community and discuss living options, current availability, and wait list options that will fit your timeline, contact us today. Our knowledgeable staff is eager to assist and help you find a retirement community that fits your individual needs when you’re ready.