Being active keeps your heart stronger and healthier than being inactive. And the more you exercise, the healthier your heart gets. The National Institutes of Health says physical activity can help lower and control high blood pressure levels.
That doesn’t mean you have to devote your life to the gym. Brisk walking – say, 20 minutes a day – is a great start. Regular exercise at a gym, fitness studio, pool, or yoga class can bring even greater heart-health rewards.
Research by the American College of Cardiology further underlines the connection between exercise and heart health. It found that women over 70 who got at least some exercise were 11 percent less likely to develop heart failure than women who had no activity. Women with the most activity were 35 percent less likely to get heart disease.
Heart disease includes stroke, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and coronary disease.
The research is consistent, but there’s still no easy fix. You have to do the work to gain the benefits.
We like to think of exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle, just like brushing your teeth and wearing a seatbelt. Healthy habits add up to a healthy life – and a healthy heart.
Holly Kouvo is a personal trainer, functional aging specialist, senior fitness specialist, brain health trainer, writer, and speaker.