February is heart health awareness month. With heart disease on the rise, attention to physical activity and diet and nutrition is vital. Various benefits of cardiovascular activity include the following:
1. Decreases risk of coronary artery disease and stroke.
2.. Reduces symptoms and decreases chances of another heart attack
3. Improves heart and lung performance while creating healthy habits
4. Improves blood pressure, blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels
5. Maintains a healthy body weight
6.. Increases energy and stamina while decreasing stress levels
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as brisk walking and at least 75 minutes of vigorous activity, or an equal combination of both. However, it is important to remember that patients and individuals with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions and/or specific medical questions or needs should consult with their physician regarding what type of physical activity is safe for them.
Tracy A. Jones is an American Heart Association, ASHI, and American Red Cross Master Program Trainer, Instructor, & AHA Faculty Member located in San Antonio, Texas.