In keeping with the American Heart Association Heart Month theme, I want to talk more about your heart health and why getting your heart rate up is important.

Did you know that just like the other muscles in your body, your heart is a muscle and needs exercising, too.  And also, just like your other muscles will atrophy when not used, your heart muscle will atrophy as well.

Atrophy: waste away, become emaciated, wither, shrivel {up}, shrink, decay, decline, deteriorate, degenerate, weaken.

Now of course and thankfully, our heart is working all the time, 24/7.  But what happens over time and as we age, our heart muscle also ages and weakens.  When our heart muscle weakens, it gets more and more difficult to pump blood around to our body.  And when that happens, heart disease, high cholesterol, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions may occur.

But not only does working your heart muscle help prevent those diseases, it:
*helps you burn calories and lose weight,
*improves your heart health by making your heart a stronger muscle that doesn’t have to work as hard,
*increases your lung capacity and the amount of air and oxygen your lung can circulate,
*improves your sleep and decreases your stress.

So what can you do?

It’s simple:  get moving and get your heart pumping!

Here are a few exercises to get you started:

At Home
Jumping Jacks
Jogging in place
Punches or Boxing
Butt Kicks
Aerobics videos

Outdoors
Walking
Running
Bicycling
Swimming

At the Gym
Treadmill
Elliptical machine
Stairclimber
Spinning
Aerobics Class

If cardio is something you’re not used to, don’t attempt to do a 30 minute hard workout.  Start slow and simple.  If five minutes is what you can do, then start with five minutes. If one minute is what you can do, then start with one minute.   You get the idea?  Do try to do some form of cardio everyday though and add a little more every day.

If time is an issue then figure out when you can get in a few minutes of exercise.  I’ve done jumping jacks and a quick workout while my bath water is running.

We all are given the same amount of time in a day, but we each use them differently.

How are you using your time?

Have you exercised while your bath water is running?  When are some crazy times you’ve got in a quick workout?

 

2 comments on “Why Cardio Is Important”

  1. Awesome post, and so true.
    I have seen my coworkers doing squats at the xerox machine while they wait for their copies. That always cracks me up!

    • Love it! I bet that does look pretty funny! But hey! Whatever works! 🙂

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