Exercising for at least 30 minutes everyday is great for your health! You may have heard or read about this phrase more than once before and on many occasions while looking for health related help. Where you encountered these golden words of wisdom is not really the big deal, but knowing their importance is. I refer to them as words of wisdom first, because they are true and secondly because if you act on them they will change your life. We have heard or read time and time again that daily exercises when added to healthy eating can be the difference between spending our hard earned finances to pay for hospital bills and going on our favorite well deserved vacations.
To understand why exercising daily is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle in the modern world; we need to understand how the human heart functions. This is not to scare you, I am not about to tire you with hard to understand terminology, but rather layman’s reader digest version. We all know that a normal adult human heart rate is around 72 beats per minute. Of course this will vary depending on what the person is doing at any given time, for example the heart rate will drop significantly when one is asleep and rise beyond 72 when a person is working. Other factors such as stress, body weight or sickness may also cause the heart rate to rise. As I said before, I am going to restrict this explanation to exercising or involving in your favorite recreational sport.
The increase or decrease in heart rate – assuming all other factors are kept constant, will dictate the amount of energy the heart will require to pump sufficient blood to all parts of the body. Remember the body systems need oxygen in order to accomplish their particular functions. The heart on the other hand needs energy as well, but is usually self sufficient as long as one is not extremely starving. By the way if you do not know, the heart is made up of muscles. These muscles depending on their strength, determine how much blood goes out of the heart to rest of the body. It therefore means a heart with stronger muscles pumps more blood than a weaker one. Also remember it does not matter whether you are sleeping, sitting in your living room or doing recreational running, a heart beat is a heart beat. What this means is, we can only manipulate the heart rate but not the type of heart beat.
What makes a strong heart? Well literally speaking, stronger heart muscles. This sounds easier than done, but with determination it can surely be done. I am not talking of surgical procedures, I am talking of exercising. When you exercise or engage in any of your favorite recreational sport such as walking, jogging, swimming, running among others daily, you are actually pushing or training your heart to work harder. A word of caution, do not be tempted to start and accomplish everything in one day if you are beginner, take one step at a time. You can read more about this in another related article at Recreational sports for life website. When you continue stressing your heart with exercise, you are increasing its strength. This in turn makes it more powerful and as a result pumps more blood (oxygen) with fewer heart beats. The arteries become bigger and stronger allowing for more and more blood to flow out of the heart. This is what makes it easier for athletes to play their sports successfully.
If you started out walking for one mile in 30 minutes, you will soon see one of these two things happening. You will cover the same distance with less time or cover more distance with the same time, whichever way you win. Now if you are looking to cut down some weight, you will begin to see some positive results especially if you continue exercising daily. Do not forget that the amount of calories burned depends on the amount of work done, the more the better. So the more you exercise, the stronger your heart will be and consequently, the more work you will accomplish without overworking your heart. Using fewer heart beats to do more work (or burn calories) is the main goal. Another word of caution though is to eat healthy; you need energy to burn calories!
It is a fact that extra body weight causes the heart to work harder to supply enough blood to the whole body. That is why before you begin exercising your resting heart rate may be as high as 70, but after few weeks of committed daily exercises, you will see a significant drop. What this means to you is, if you help you heart to work less, by exercising daily, you will help it to last longer. Save those heart beats now when you can for later on in life, they will be precious when you cannot exercise as much due to age.
About the Author
The author has masters in sports and leisure management. He is a former professional track and field athlete. He is currently coaching and counseling athletes and recreational sports individuals of all ages.
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