What to Do to Keep a Healthy Heart

lifting weights

The human heart is an amazing muscle. It is responsible for supplying oxygenated blood to all the cells of your body, to keep them alive and functioning properly. So why do so many people neglect the most important muscle they have? One of the main reasons is that you can see the other muscles of your body and see if they look healthy or not. The heart is out of sight and out of mind, even though heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women. What should you do about it?

There are several things that you can do to get your heart healthy and keep it strong and working right. The heart is like other muscles, if you look at your arms and they are skinny and or flabby, you will see changes when you work on them and that gives you motivation to keep doing it. You can’t see your heart if it’s flabby and week or getting stronger and toned, so you have to keep working on your heart by seeing improvements in performance not looks. What exercising will do for your heart is make it beat easier and more efficiently which will help live a longer and healthier life.

You need to do aerobic and anaerobic exercise to get your heart strong, and make it stronger. Aerobic exercise is when you are exercising in a way that your heart is working harder, but can keep up with the need, like walking and jogging. Anaerobic exercise is when you go beyond that point and your heart can’t keep up so it needs to work harder, like lifting weights and interval training, which will make it stronger for the next time it needs to work harder.

To get the most benefit you need to find your target heart rate, and use it to gage your workouts to be in the aerobic and anaerobic areas. To find target heart rate take 220 and subtract your age, multiply by 65% for the low number, and multiply by 85% for the high number.

Get your doctors permission to do this and do aerobic exercise with your heart rate between the high and low numbers. Then add intervals and weight training to get your heart rate in the area above your high number but stay below your max heart rate, which is 220 – your age for short periods as you exercise.

There are other factors that make a difference in your chances of heart disease, the main ones are smoking and excess body fat. Smoking increases heart rate and constricts your arteries, which causes increased blood pressure and thickens your blood, increases clotting time and helps plaque buildup in your arteries. Don’t smoke. It is hard to quit, but you can quit and save lots of money as a side effect.

Excess body fat around your organs also leads to heart problems. Another benefit from doing aerobic and anaerobic exercise is that you will lower your body fat. A man should have a waist measurement that is smaller than your hip measurement. A woman should have a waist measurement that is 80% or less of your hip measurement.

No matter how much you have neglected your heart and body, it’s not too late to make changes that can significantly increase your good health and help you to live longer. Don’t forget to work on your other muscles as well with weight training. Talk to your doctor and start slow if you have to, but start now and you can feel better and live a longer healthier life, it’s your choice.