How Does Exercise Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease?
One of the most useful things that exercise can do for a person (and that’s saying a lot because exercise can do a lot of good things for a person) is to reduce their risk of developing heart disease.
Heart disease is a growing epidemic in the western world. Over 600,000 Americans die each year due to complications from heart disease.
That number expands massively if you include other western countries.
This means that in America, around a quarter of all deaths can be attributed to heart disease.
Thankfully, there are a variety of ways that exercise can help reduce your risk of becoming part of that statistic.
In this article, you will learn why exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Exercise Reduces Your LDL Cholesterol Levels
LDL Cholesterol (the LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein) is probably one of the biggest contributors to heart disease.
This is often referred to as the “bad cholesterol.” It’s the type of cholesterol you get from fatty, greasy foods.
Simply put, this cholesterol is terrible for you and you need to keep your LDL cholesterol levels low.
Thankfully, exercise can help you keep your LDL cholesterol levels in check, which in turn reduces your chances of developing heart disease, suffering strokes, etc.
It Raises Your HDL Cholesterol Levels
These acronyms are probably a bit confusing but bear with it for a second. HDL cholesterol is the opposite of LDL cholesterol.
Whereas LDL cholesterol is the “bad” cholesterol, HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein) is considered the “good” cholesterol.
Having high levels of HDL cholesterol is actually good for you; it provides a variety of health benefits, including, but not limited to, a reduction in your chances of developing heart disease.
Regular exercise actually increases your HDL cholesterol levels at the same time that it lowers your LDL cholesterol levels.
Exercise Reduces Your Stress Levels
Stress is one of those things that when it is present in excessive levels, it can start to cause serious health problems.
Believe it or not, excessive stress can actually lead to heart disease. Thankfully, exercise is a great stress reliever.
Exercise Can Help You Manage Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is one of the major factors that can contribute to heart disease.
Now, obviously there are drugs that help people manage high blood pressure, but doctors also say that exercise can be just as effective as any drug when it comes to managing your blood pressure.
How Exercise Prevents Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular disease is one of the major issues facing the western world, with an estimated 17 million dying of the disease in 2013 alone.
With numbers like this, there is a good chance that someone in your own family has either suffered from or died from cardiovascular disease.
Cardiovascular disease is a broad term that includes strokes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. There is no single cause of cardiovascular disease, rather it is caused by a variety of factors including poor diet, poor exercise, smoking, etc.
If you want to drastically lower your chances of getting cardiovascular disease, then you should begin exercising regularly.
Here, you will learn how exercising helps lower your chances of developing cardiovascular disease.
Exercise reduces blood pressure
High blood pressure is one of the components of cardiovascular disease.
People, especially the elderly, need to be very cautious when it comes to blood pressure.
Having high blood pressure puts more strain on your heart and can result in heart attacks and strokes.
Exercise, alongside medication, is one of the best ways to reduce your blood pressure.
Exercise helps your circulatory system
Regular exercise is crucial for maintaining a good circulatory system. Making sure that the optimal amount of blood is being circulated throughout your body is essential.
Exercise does two things to help improve your circulatory system.
Firstly, it improves blood flow. When you exercise, your brain realizes that your body needs more oxygen, so it speeds up the circulation of blood.
Secondly, exercise dilates your blood vessels, which allows the blood to flow more freely.
Exercise reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol
When people hear the word “cholesterol” they immediately think about bad things, heart disease, clogged arteries, etc.
But, there are actually two kinds of cholesterol. The first kind is LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is the bad cholesterol, it is responsible for heart disease and clogged arteries.
HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein) is the good cholesterol.
Exercise is helpful because it reduces the amount of LDL cholesterol in your body and actually increases the amount of good cholesterol.
What kind of exercise should I do?
Any kind of exercise can help reduce your chances of developing cardiovascular disease.
However, ideally, you will want to engage in high-intensity exercises such as swimming, running, sports, etc. But, if you are only able to do some light jogging or walking, that is better than nothing.
As long as you are getting some exercise, your chances of getting cardiovascular disease will decrease.