Importance of Cardio, Diet and Heart Health
A lot of people have difficulty meeting their health goals because they don’t know how to make positive changes in their lives. With a little guidance, you can reshape your lifestyle to include heart-healthy exercises and foods.
Cardio Exercise Helps You Meet Health and Weight Goals
Cardiovascular includes any activity that increases your heart rate. You may also hear people refer to it as aerobic exercise. Depending on your current fitness level, you could benefit from cardio exercises like walking, jogging, cycling or jumping rope.
The American Heart Associations recommends aerobic exercise to improve overall cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure and control cholesterol. Ideally, you should devote yourself to 30 minutes of moderately intense cardio five days a week. Alternatively, you can perform 25 minutes of vigorous exercise three days a week.
In addition to keeping your cardiovascular system healthy, cardio workouts help you lose weight. A 160-pound person burns about 365 calories during an hour on an elliptical trainer. The same person can burn a whopping 861 calories running for an hour at 8 mph.
Diet Plays a Crucial Role in Your Health
Staying healthy and losing weight takes more than exercise. You also need to pay attention to what you eat. Forget about fad diets, though. They can put your health at risk. Besides, most fad diets will only give you temporary results.
A healthful diet includes:
- Plenty of nuts and legumes
- Several helpings of fruits and vegetables per day
- Skinless poultry and fish
- Whole grains
- Low-fat dairy products
You should also avoid refined sugar, trans fat, saturated fat and too much sodium.
A diet that follows these guidelines will make it easier for you to limit the calories you consume, so you can maintain a healthy weight. This diet will also give you plenty of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids that keep cholesterol in check.
Heart Health Tips
Following a healthful diet and exercise schedule are two of the best things that you can do for your heart. They aren’t the only things you can do to keep your heart healthy, though.
It’s important to get your cholesterol checked to determine whether you need to adjust your lifestyle. You’re at a higher risk of getting heart disease if your:
- Total cholesterol exceeds 200
- Triglycerides are over 150
- LDL (bad) cholesterol is over 160
- HDL (good) cholesterol is under 40
If you’re at risk of heart disease, then your doctor may prescribe a medication to improve your numbers.
Other heart health tips include:
- Avoiding tobacco products
- Managing your stress
- Only drinking moderate amounts of alcohol
Diet and exercise form the foundation of a healthy life. Make the right changes so you can feel and look healthier.