Cardio Fitness — Put Your Heart Into Your Workout

People running in machine treadmill at fitness gym club

Losing weight, staying fit, and even beating a chronic health problem are all great reasons to head to the gym, but one of the best benefits of working out can’t be seen at all. When you work out, your heart health improves right along with your muscles and performance. The benefits to your heart and cardiovascular system may not create visible physical results but will help you live a longer, healthier life. According to heart experts at the American Heart Association, every time you work out or engage in physical activity, your cardiovascular system benefits.

Regular Exercise Lowers your Blood Pressure

Working out can help lower both your heart rate and your blood pressure. Since hypertension contributes to heart disease and other ailments, committing to regular exercise can lower your risk and prevent you from having to take a medication with uncomfortable side effects.

Natural Weight Control

When you are overweight, your heart has to work harder than ever, according to experts at Johns Hopkins Heart Center. Regular exercise will help you reach and maintain a healthy weight, protecting your heart and health in the process. If you have struggled to lose weight, heart health can be an added incentive to help you maintain what you have lost and to stay on track, too.

Exercise Can Help You Quit Other Habits

Smokers often quit smoking when they start to work out – the two habits simply aren’t compatible. When you opt for a session in the gym instead of indulging in a less healthy practice, you benefit. Your heart will thank you too – smoking is a key risk factor for a variety of heart-related ailments.

Strong Muscles Equal a Healthy Heart

Working out makes you stronger – and those muscles do more than help you look your best. When you add muscle mass, your body is better able to draw oxygen from your blood as it circulates, so your heart doesn’t have to work as hard, according to Johns Hopkins.

Exercise Busts Stress Levels

Are you in an unusually good mood after a workout? That is endorphins at work. When you work out, you naturally ease your stress. Too much stress can lead to unhealthy habits and even stress-related hormones that can damage your heart. Exercise and you’ll feel less stressed out – and your heart will thank you, too.

Whether you work out at a gym, with a trainer, go for a brisk walk, or even swim laps in a pool, taking the time to work out regularly can benefit not only your appearance but your overall health as well. Committing to a regular workout schedule can help protect your heart and ensure you avoid some of the most common risk factors associated with heart disease.