How Exercise Promotes Heart Health

Your diet is key to improving and maintaining heart health, but exercise also plays an important role. Your doctor can help you create and maintain a set of fitness goals based on your medical history, lifestyle, personal desires and abilities. Most exercise programs are flexible enough for every participant. You may need to start out slowly, walking for example, rather than jogging, but the best way to begin is by starting slowly and working your way up to more strenuous activities.

Exercise Goalshow exercise promotes heart health

You should be aiming for about 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least 5 days a week. If you’re not able to sustain that level of activity, then do what you are able and work up to your goal. Stretching and warming up are important parts of the exercise routine. The point of aerobic activity is to raise your heartrate for a sustained period.

Types of Exercise

Depending on your fitness level and abilities, there is a fitness option for everyone. Most people start by walking, and work up to jogging or running. If you have joint issues, however, you may wish to consider alternatives like yoga or swimming. Be sure to talk to your doctor about target heartrates during activity. You should be able to hold a conversation during your workout. If you can’t catch your breath, you could be pushing your body too hard.

Avoid Fitness Ruts

Alternating exercises is important to staving off boredom. There’s nothing worse than dreading your workout because you’re doing the same old thing day in and day out. If walking or jogging don’t appeal to you, consider joining a local softball team, or taking up tennis. Visit your local YMCA and sign up for sports or classes to add variety to your fitness routine. The goal is not just “to exercise.” You’re aiming for activity that helps you reach and sustain your target heart rate. Even cleaning your home and walking up and down stairs is beneficial. Increase your activity in ways that are also enjoyable, and you’ll reap the benefits of a healthier heart.


A picture of Giovanni B. Ciuffo, MD wearing his Mercy One doctor attire.

About the Author

Giovanni B. Ciuffo, MD Director is an expert in Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery and Bloodless Heart Surgery is the outcome of his commitment to the development and improvement of both of these techniques. He runs a Cardiothoracic Surgery practice and manages Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery Program where he cares for patients from all over the country and locally. Click here to learn more about Dr. Ciuffo.

Board Certified:
American Board of Surgery
American Board of Thoracic Surgery