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Avoid a Medical Emergency: Take Care of Your Heart

Written by: Leslie Ballentine

We are only born with one heart. For our entire life, our heart needs to work for us in order to survive. Because of this, it is important to take care of your one and only heart. However, many people in the United States suffer from heart disease due to poor diet and lack of activity. Generally, cardiovascular health problems have to do with when the blood vessels become diseased, resulting in coronary artery disease (CAD), arrhythmias (or heart rhythm problems), and heart defects, to name a few possible problems.

Each of these vary in their degree of seriousness, but each is important to address right away. While physical activity is vital to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, that does not mean that you need to be an Olympic athlete. A simple exercise routine that is done daily can be enough to keep your body active and in good working condition.

On average, you should get one to two hours a week of exercise to improve your cardiovascular health. This can include activities as simple as walking, jogging, or running. One of the best activities that most everyone can participate in is a brisk walk. Doing so will increase your heart rate and improve blood flow and your ability to burn calories. All you have to do is wear comfortable walking shoes and then get moving! If you are able, running is another great way to keep your body happy and healthy. This activity is a bit more challenging, but it is a great way to burn calories and reduce your risk of heart disease.

If running or walking are not really your style, there are plenty of other options. Swimming is another great way to work cardio into your routine. Swimming laps helps to raise your heart rate, while the water provides you with resistance, so you are also working on your muscle strength at the same time. Swimming is a great workout for older people because it puts a minimal strain on the joints, unlike more high-impact activities such as running.

Another great cardiovascular exercise is biking. A nice leisurely ride on a bicycle can give your heart a good workout without taxing your system. People can ride on the road, bike paths or anywhere you can find a safe route. While biking is a heart-friendly activity, make sure you wear a helmet and follow all safety rules!

Before you get started on any new healthcare regimen, be sure to consult a doctor first. They will tell you how your health is currently and what activities it is safe for you to participate in. Once your doctor gives you the OK, get out there and work on your heart health! After all, your heart is what keeps your body running. Put in a bit of effort to keep your heart in good shape by getting plenty of exercise, maintain a healthy diet and you'll raise your odds of living a long, healthy life.

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