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Love Your Heart: Exercise

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Did you know that exercising just 30 minutes a day can reduce your risk of heart disease? Some studies suggest that it may also increase your life expectancy. That should be motivation enough for anyone to start getting fit!

Just look at the benefits of regular exercise. It can:

  • Strengthen your bones, heart and cardiovascular system
  • Improve your circulation and help your body use oxygen better
  • Increase energy levels so you can do more without becoming tired or short of breath
  • Increase endurance
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improve muscle tone, strength, balance and joint flexibility
  • Help reduce body fat and help you reach a healthy weight
  • Help reduce stress, tension, anxiety, and depression
  • Boost self-image and self-esteem
  • Improve sleep
  • Make you feel more healthy, fit, relaxed and rested

How to get started
Before starting an exercise program, get your doctor’s approval, especially for activities like jogging, swimming or lifting weights. If you are on any medications, discuss this with your doctor as well. Before you go for your walk/swim/bike ride, do some simple stretches to prepare your muscles for activity and to prevent injury or muscle strain.

Heart smart exercise
Aerobic exercise is any type of movement that requires the pumping of blood by the heart to deliver oxygen to the muscles of the body. It strengthens the heart and lungs, improves the body's ability to use oxygen, and has the most benefits for your heart.

How Often Should I Exercise?
In general, to achieve maximum benefits, you should gradually work up to an aerobic session that lasts 20 to 30 minutes, at least three to four times a week. Exercising every day is even better!

Need a primary care doctor? To schedule an appointment with any of our Baton Rouge General Physicians, please call (225) 763-4500.

The information in these articles is based on statistics and guidelines provided by the American Heart Association, National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control, and Baton Rouge General clinical staff.

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