Your heart is a muscle and like all other muscles in the body, it needs to be flexed to stay healthy and functional. We don’t often think of the heart in these terms, so it’s good to have a reminder now and again and since February is the month most associated with matters of the heart it seems an appropriate time. Amazingly each day your heart beats about 100,000 times and just like our limbs, facial features and other internal organs, it is unique in shape and size to us individually.
The size of the heart can change according to how you are using it. Just like your bicep, when you load the muscle repeatedly it gets bigger, and so the heart increases its capacity to house a greater volume of blood and then pump it around the body more efficiently to serve the body’s demands for oxygen and nutrients.
What’s the best way to maintain your heart health then? – Cardio – but not too much!
Yep, cardiovascular exercise in all its many forms, such as running, cycling, swimming, dancing, aerobics and everything in between, all help to keep our ticker in tip top condition. Cardiovascular exercise also increases blood vessels, giving the body more places for blood to flow and making the circulation more efficient.
One way to know how effectively your heart muscle is working is to measure your resting heart rate. Do this by finding your pulse on the wrist or neck and then count the beats whilst timing yourself for 1 minute. 60 or less = Good, 61 to 80 = Average, 81 to 100 = Highbut acceptable, 101 or more = Abnormally high and not good! So if you want to improve your RHR incorporate some regular cardiovascular exercise to your daily routine and measure again after 1 month and unlike most other tests, in this case if you have a lower score then you know you’re improving and your heart is getting fitter!
– This Article has been published in the February edition of Life Magazine – http://www.lifemagazines.co.uk