One of the most impactful actions you can take to improve the health of your heart is to have a regular exercise routine. Estimates suggest that only one in five adults and teens currently get sufficient exercise, but the benefits to overall health can’t be overstated. From better sleep and improvements to mental health, to a stronger heart and less risk of disease, exercise can truly work wonders for both heart health and general health.
How exercise impacts heart health
Exercising regularly can reduce heart-related risk factors in the following ways.
- Lowers blood pressure
High blood pressure (hypertension) and a sedentary lifestyle are major risk factors for heart disease and heart attack. Engaging in exercise reduces blood pressure and promotes healthy blood flow throughout the heart and other organs.2
- Reduces diabetes risk
Inactive lifestyles and obesity can lead to type 2 diabetes, which is a risk factor for heart disease.1
- Facilitates healthy body weight
Obesity can contribute to heart risk factors like diabetes, high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and more. Exercising regularly can help you maintain a healthy body weight and decrease strain on your heart.
- Improves sleep
Poor sleep can cause inflammation and contribute to various risk factors for heart disease. Exercising regularly can improve symptoms from insomnia and sleep apnea and help you get better rest.1
- Reduces stress hormones
Stress hormones can put additional strain on the heart, but exercise keeps these hormones at bay.