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How Physical Activity Affects the Heart

February 7, 2013 by Marc Faktor, Certified Exercise Physiologist

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exercise, physical activity, heart health

Did you know that heart disease and stroke takes one life every seven minutes and that 90% of Canadians have at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease?

These numbers are nothing to joke about and it’s important for us as Canadians to dedicate our efforts to help change these statistics!<--break-> 

As a result, The Heart & Stroke Foundation has dedicated the entire month of February to reaching millions of Canadians to alert them about the risks of heart disease and provide advice and resources on how to improve cardiovascular health. February is “Heart Month” and you can find all the info you need here

At Healthy Families BC we’re proud supporters of Heart Month! Since I blog on physical activity, I thought I would focus on the benefits that activity provides to our heart and cardiovascular system.

Be active and improve your heart health by:

  • Increasing the strength of your heart, lungs, and improving circulation
  • Increasing the levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL: High Density Lipoprotein) and decreasing the levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL: Low Density Lipoprotein)
      • This helps clean the gunk (i.e. fatty deposits etc.) out of your arteries which increases blood flow to your heart and decreases the stress on the heart.
  • Improving your muscle function
      • This helps your circulation and also allows you to improve your physical activity levels which will allow you to benefit further
  • Increasing your ability to control your blood sugar which helps improve or prevent diabetes
      • This decreases the labour on your heart and makes it easier for your heart to pump the blood around your body
  • Reducing your blood pressure
      • This reduces the stress on your heart and cardiovascular system
  • Improving your mental health, quality of life, feeling of wellbeing and decreasing your stress levels
      • Increased stress and poor mental health has been shown to have a negative effect on heart health and can lead to increased complications following a cardiovascular event

If you want more advice on how to improve your health through physical activity contact the Physical Activity Line: 1-877-725-1149, for free guidance.


References & Resources:
For more benefits of activity please take a look at the:

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