Physical Activity for Heart Health: How Much is Too Much?

Physical Activity for Heart Health: How Much is Too Much?Physical activity is one of the primary factors in leading a long and healthy life. We live in a day and age of extremism, though, including sports and methods of exercise. This can lead one to overdo what is best suited to their body. Here, we will break down the nature of moderate and vigorous exercise to shed some light on your path of physical wellness.

Formal Recommendations

The American Heart Association is a good place to start when you want to determine your physical capabilities. This reputable organization advises 150 minutes or more of moderate exercise on a weekly basis. That equates to only two-and-a-half hours a week. Breaking it down further, we see that we can reach this goal with a 30-minute time investment five days a week. To maximize time, the intensity of activity may be increased and performed in shorter spurts.

Where is the Line?

Not knowing where the line of balance lies can cause you to procrastinate when it comes to developing an ongoing exercise regimen. Whether you have a solid understanding of what is best for you or not, remember that any amount of exercise is better than none. Get out and go for a 30-minute walk every morning or evening and keep this up as you continue to establish a long-term routine that meets your needs. As you do, keep this in mind . . .

Moderate activity will get your heart rate up, but you will be able to talk if you so choose. You may sweat a little, and your breathing will intensify. Examples of moderate exercise include:

  • Brisk walking (more than a stroll)
  • A leisurely bike ride
  • Gardening
  • Ballroom dancing (Waltz, anyone?)
  • Swimming

When you engage in vigorous exercise, you will sweat more profusely. Your heart rate will be noticeably higher, though not uncomfortable. Talking will be more difficult through heavy breathing. Examples of vigorous exercise include:

  • Heavy gardening that involves continuous motion, such as hoeing or digging
  • Hiking on mountainous terrain
  • Jumping rope or hula hooping
  • Swimming laps
  • Jogging or speed-walking

It is not necessary to choose only vigorous or only moderate exercise. Many people bounce between the two. For your exercise program to work, it needs to include activities that you enjoy, at an intensity that you enjoy.

Premier Cardiology Consultants offers cardiac testing and treatments in the areas of Richmond Hill, Forest Hills, and Lake Success. Call 516-437-5600 to schedule your visit with us.

Posted in: Health and Wellness, Heart Health

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