It has gotten to the point at this stage of our lives that we truly have no choice, if you want to live a long healthy life, you must move your body and exercise that most important muscle, your heart. Here are just a few of the many reasons to start or continue an exercise program for your health.
Exercise fortifies your heart and reduces the stress on your arteries which then in turn lowers your blood pressure. Aerobic activity, getting that heart to pump, lowers systolic blood pressure (the top number of your reading) which gauges the pressure when your heart contracts.
Exercise also helps maintain a healthy weight. Not only is aerobic cardiovascular exercise recommended 3 to 5 times per week, but research shows that regular weight training can prevent hypertension. Research has also proven that people who regularly lift weights have lowered their diastolic pressure (the bottom number of your reading) which gauges the heart at rest. Weight training should be a weekly habit of at least 2 to 3 times. Plan the time to get your heart rate up for at least 20-30 minutes and then follow up with an additional 20 minutes of weight training for optimal results.
Some cardiovascular exercise recommendations is to use a treadmill or elliptical machine to really get that heart rate up. Both of these can now be purchased at very affordable prices for your home to make it easier for you to plan exercise into your schedule. A stationary bike is fantastic also. Weight training with 3-5 pound weights is recommended to start with and as you get stronger, you can can add more weight.
Another proven health benefit to exercising is fighting the stress and anxiety in your life which are both contributors to high blood pressure and heart disease. Mind and body exercise like yoga and Pilates have been proven in studies to decrease blood pressure.
Getting yourself a yoga mat is a start, there are also other yoga tools that help with your practice. Join a local yoga class or buy a DVD. You could even see if your television channels offer yoga instruction. Awareness and recognizing what stresses you most in your life is helpful in maintaining your breathing which relaxes your blood vessels. Another healthy option is meditation, inhaling and exhaling with control and thought will keep your stress hormones in check.
These are just a few important reasons to exercise, there are hundreds more, so why not step up and take charge of your health once and for all? The moral of the story is: make time for yourself, make time for your health and make time to exercise since it is one of the most important thing you can do to live a long and healthy life.