What role does exercise play in heart health?

The heart needs exercise just like any other muscle.

Exercise helps the heart pump blood efficiently through the body with little strain. Regular exercise also helps to keep arteries and other blood vessels flexible, ensuring good blood flow and normal blood pressure.

According to the American Heart Association, for each hour of regular exercise you get, you’ll gain about two hours of additional life expectancy. In addition to strengthening your heart and preventing heart disease, consistent physical activity is also important for:

  • Lowering your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke
  • Reducing blood pressure in people who already have high blood pressure
  • Building stronger immunity
  • Helping to reduce stress, depression and anxiety
  • Helping to control weight
  • Helping you sleep better
  • Improving overall health and wellbeing

Aim to do at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week to improve your heart health and help reduce your risk of heart disease.

Talk with your healthcare provider about what types and amounts of physical activity are right for you.

To make an appointment with a New Mexico Heart Institute/Lovelace Medical Group cardiovascular provider, call 505.841.1000.