January 31, 2017
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), chronic disease continues to be the leading cause of death in the world. Heart disease is at the top of that list. Although the statistics can be overwhelming and concerning, we have the power to take action and choose behaviors that will promote health rather than disease. By using a heart rate monitor, it’s easier than ever to stay on top of your health and know that your body is getting what it needs.
We know that living a sedentary (non-active) lifestyle increases our risk of disease, and we know that exercise is good for us and makes us healthier, but we don’t always know the mechanisms behind it. This blog post is dedicated to sharing four specific ways that exercise makes your heart healthy!
Now, as you are wearing your MYZONE belt and tracking your heart rate, you will be able to appreciate all of the good that you are doing your heart (and your body, and your mind, and your soul…you get the point).
So, how does exercise make our heart healthier? The best mode of exercise to train our heart, lungs, and vascular system is cardiorespiratory exercise (many of us affectionately refer to this as “cardio”).
When we introduce an exercise stimulus to our cardiorespiratory system, we set all kinds of physiological processes into effect. Over time, our heart, lungs, and vascular system adapt to the exercise stimulus and get stronger; therefore, more of a work rate is required to challenge them. As our system gets stronger, we will experience a myriad of health benefits. Here are four quick examples of how exercise makes our heart healthy:
As you train your cardiorespiratory system, you are increasing the capacity of your heart to pump more blood with each beat, this is called Stroke Volume. You are literally making your heart muscle bigger and stronger! An increase in the volume (amount) of blood that your heart can pump with each beat means that it does not have to work as hard at rest or at submaximal work rates – you are creating a more efficient cardiorespiratory system!
Related to an increase in Stroke volume is Cardiac Output, the volume of blood your heart pumps each minute. Cardiac output is a function of stroke volume in combination with heart rate. Because you increase the stroke volume of your heart with exercise, it does not need to beat as often to maintain the same level of cardiac output needed at rest or submaximal work rates.
As you train your cardiorespiratory system, your blood vessels become more elastic (pliable) and the viscosity (thickness) of your blood decreases. The combination of your heart muscle getting stronger and your blood vessels providing less resistance decreases blood pressure.
Related to all three mechanisms above is a decrease in your resting heart rate. Because you are training your heart and vessels to be more efficient with each beat, your heart does not need to beat as much at rest. You can track your resting heart rate using your MYZONE heart rate monitor belt and the directions in one of our previous blogs.
So, lace up your shoes, strap on your heart rate monitor belt, and start pumping your way to a healthier heart!
Check out the table below for an overview of how exercise improves cardiovascular function and makes your heart healthier.
Exercise can reverse the effects of a sedentary lifestyle at any age or stage of life. The earlier you start, the better, but it is never too late!
With each heart beat you record using your MYZONE belt, know that you are offering yourself better health and longevity going forward! Let us know how you are taking care of your heart. Post to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and use the hashtags: #effortrewarded and #myzonemoves.
For more tips on how to use the MYZONE heart rate monitor, follow us during Fitness Fridays on Facebook Live (subscribe on MYZONE’s Facebook Page) – 8 am PT, 11 am ET, and check out our MYZONE® Moves Podcast on iTunes or Google Play.
Keep moving forward!