Exercise, in general, that are done with appropriate goals and preparation for better physical condition can result in improved body functions. The safest and most efficient exercise aimed at promoting the health of the circulatory system, including the heart, lungs and arteries, is aerobic exercise.
Aerobic exercise is a moderate to medium intensity exercise that is enough to stimulate the circulatory system through various activities. They are brisk walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, aerobics, as well as other activities that can generate enough stimulation of the circulation.
Exercises that build strength can benefit the heart. Resistance training increases muscle strength. It targets 60-70% of maximum heart rate (MHR). The general formula for the average person is 220-age (year) times 60% and times 90% of MHR. You can monitor your pulse rate during exercise using a wristwatch. Another simple way is to observe the symptoms during the exercise by assessing the level of fatigue. The appropriate level of exhaustion is when your breathing rate increases.
According to the American Heart Association recommendations, healthy adults and those without risk of diseases that must be monitored should get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day, five times a week.
In addition, exercising properly helps promote heart health as well as enhancing the performance of your body such as managing blood sugar levels. Both diet and exercise can effectively reduce body fat and reduce the chance of having NCDs (non-communicable diseases) such as diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, obesity and various cancers).
- Always warm up your muscles before you exercise. Examples of a good and easy warm-up include walking and swinging your arms for about 10 minutes before starting the actual exercise. Cool down after exercise. You should not stop exercising abruptly without taking time to cool down. You can cool down by reducing the resistance and speed with another round of light movements like from the beginning, and may add some exercises with the stretching of muscles properly.
- The exercise should be done in a safe environment under well-ventilated conditions and suitable temperature.
- Do not exercise immediately after meals.
- You should wait 2-3 hours after a meal before you exercising
By Khun Namchanok Sihayarat
Sports scientist at Sports Medicine Department, Bangkok Hospital Phuket
Cardiovascular Disease and Heart Disease Center, Bangkok Hospital Phuket