• Exercise Regularly

     
     
     
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    9/27/2011

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    Dr. Kimberly A. Skelding, Geisinger Medical Center, explains that it’s okay to start off slow with a new exercise program. She has a few suggestions for making it fun, too.
    Inactivity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease that you may be able to affect in a positive way. Consider the benefits of regular exercise – particularly aerobic exercise that gets your heart working: 
    • Stronger heart and cardiovascular system
    • Better circulation 
    • More energy 
    • Improved endurance
    • Lower blood pressure 
    • Weight (and fat) loss 
    • Reduced stress and anxiety 
    • Stronger bones 
    • Better balance 
    • Better sleep 
    • A boost to self image as you look and feel better. 
    Before launching an exercise program, work with your doctor to ensure that an increased activity level won’t affect how you respond to your medications and won’t overtax you. Exercise programs that boost heart health may include: 
    • Aerobic activity (for example, walking, jogging and bicycling) to strengthen the heart and lungs and improve your body’s ability to use oxygen. For the greatest benefits, exercise physiologists suggest gradually working up to an aerobic session of 20 to 30 minutes in length, most days of the week. An aerobic exercise routine, maintained over a period of time, can help lower heart rate and blood pressure when you’re at rest; 
    • Stretching to increase flexibility to prepare muscles for activity and prevent muscle injury; 
    • Strengthening muscles by tightening or contracting them repeatedly until they become tired. Be sure to check with your doctor prior to beginning a strengthening program.