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Exercises to keep you and your heart healthy

A sedentary (inactive) lifestyle is one of the top risk factors for heart disease. Fortunately, it’s a risk factor that you can do something about. Regular exercise, especially aerobic exercise, has many benefits. It can:
* Strengthen your heart and cardiovascular system.
* Improve your circulation and help your body use oxygen better.
* Improve your heart failure symptoms.
* Increase energy levels so you can do more activities without becoming tired or short of breath.
* Increase endurance.
* Lower blood pressure.
* Improve muscle tone and strength.
* Improve balance and joint flexibility.
* Strengthen bones.
* Help reduce body fat and help you reach a healthy weight.
* Help reduce stress, tension, anxiety and depression.
* Boost self-image and self-esteem.
* Improve sleep.
* Make you feel more relaxed and rested.
* Make you look fit and feel healthy.

– Stretching : It is the slow lengthening of the muscles. Stretching the arms and legs before and after exercising helps prepare the muscles for activity and helps prevent injury and muscle strain. Regular stretching also increases your range of motion and flexibility.
– Cardiovascular or aerobic : A steady physical activity using large muscle groups. This type of exercise strengthens the heart and lungs and improves the body’s ability to use oxygen. Aerobic exercise has the most benefits for your heart. Over time, aerobic exercise can help decrease your heart rate and blood pressure at rest and improve your breathing. It includes walking, jogging, jumping rope, bicycling (stationary or outdoor), cross-country skiing, skating, rowing and low-impact aerobics or water aerobics.
– Strengthening : It is repeated muscle contractions (tightening) until the muscle becomes tired. For people with heart failure, many strengthening exercises are not recommended.

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