Generally speaking, to keep your heart healthy, one of the most effective ways is to engage in aerobic exercise about three to four times a week for about 20 to 30 minutes. If you haven’t been on a regular exercise program, you should gradually work up this level. Once you have achieved this level, try to maintain a regular exercise schedule for maximum benefits.
Aerobic exercises include walking or jogging, skating, bicycling (stationary or outdoor), or water aerobics among other activities.
Your exercise routine should include:
–A warm-up time. This warm up will reduce the stress on your heart and muscles, but letting your body adjust to exercise from rest. It also increases your heart rate, body temperature and breathing. Your flexibility will also increase with a proper warm up and it will also reduce after-exercise soreness. Some good warm up exercises include range of motion stretching.
–Following your warm ups you should do conditioning-or the aerobic or other exercise activity of your choice. This is the part of the exercise routine when you are gaining the most benefit as well as burning the most calories. When you are first starting your exercise program, be sure not to over do it and keep an eye on the intensity of your activity. Check your heart rate regularly during exercise. Many people wear wrist-style heart monitors to help keep a check on this.
–The last part of your exercise routine is the cool down. This will let your body and muscles recover from the previous step. Your heart rate as well as your blood pressure will return to normal resting rates. Contrary to popular belief this cool down phase does not mean sit or lie down. This can cause dizziness or heart palipitations. Simply slowly decrease the intensity of your exercising. You can also stretch as you did in the warm up time.