| || |
We know that physical activity is good for the heart and mind, yet cardiovascular disease accounts for more deaths in Canada than any other, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Thirty-four per cent of all female deaths in 2002 were due to cardiovascular disease.
The benefits of exercise Aerobic activity is one of the best ways to fight heart disease, says Lisa Fenton, a fitness specialist in Toronto. "It burns calories to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, it lowers blood pressure, it increases cardiac output, which means more blood is pumped with each heartbeat, it decreases resting heart rate so there's less stress on your heart, and it lowers the build-up of plaque in the arteries."
Physical activity is also enjoyable, says Dr. Bob Haennel, professor and chair of physical
therapy in the faculty of rehabilitation medicine at the University of Alberta. "When you've done something like walking or swimming or cycling, you usually feel pretty good afterwards," he explains.
The right activity for you
The most important thing is to find an activity that you enjoy and one that is accessible.
The most popular of all activities, walking doesn't require any specialized equipment and is perfect for cardiac patients, says Haennel. In the winter, do a mall walk or walk in your apartment complex -- the location doesn't matter as long as you keep moving. Running will burn double the calories of walking but it's tougher on your joints. "Buy the best running shoes you can afford," says Fenton. "Shop at a store that fits you properly for your foot and
"It's a whole-body exercise, so you're getting some muscular strength and endurance, as well," says Haennel. "If you have a problem with weight control, the pool is an appropriate place to start as it's easier on the joints." It's also a good alternative for those with arthritic or orthopedic problems.
3. Skipping rope:
This inexpensive and portable exercise is a great conditioner and builds coordination, but it can be tough on feet, ankles, knees and back. If you have orthopedic problems, Haennel doesn't suggest it.
Click the link below to read the rest of this amazing article.