If you watch what you eat, you’re doing everything you need to stay heart-healthy, right? Well, that’s only half of it. Even if you watch your diet and avoid high-fat, empty-calorie foods, you’re still at risk for heart disease if you don’t exercise. And then, exercise offers a host of other benefits. If you’re still wondering, this is why you should exercise:
Exercise lowers blood pressure
When your heart is stronger due to exercise, it takes less effort for it to pump blood throughout your body, which in turn means there’s not as much force on your arteries. And when the force on your arteries is lowered, your blood pressure is lower too.
Exercise improves circulation
For your body to operate at its full potential, your blood circulation needs to be good. Regular aerobic exercise can improve circulation and help prevent heart disease.
Exercise helps you lose weight
If you’re overweight and especially if a lot of the fat is around your middle, which doctors call having an “apple shape” — you’re at higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Exercise helps in burning calories.
Exercise helps you sleep better
As anyone who’s turned in after a full day of skiing or swimming can attest, as soon as you start exercising, your sleep habits improve too. Lack of sleep has been linked to high blood pressure, increased stress, and irregular heartbeat- all adding to the risk of heart disease. Exercising is extremely beneficial in providing quality sleep and thus also improving heart health.
Exercise helps reduce stress
Stress has been linked to high blood pressure, chest pain, and an irregular heartbeat, among other heart problems. Vigorous, sustained exercise releases “feel-good” hormones that can help you reduce stress which in turn lowers your risk of heart disease.