Physical activity and the heart

Physical activity and the heart

Physical activity and the heart

What is a physical activity? – Physical activity and the heart

Physical activity is all movement of the body that makes muscles work and requires more energy than being at rest. Walking, running, dancing, swimming, practicing yoga and working in the garden or the garden are a few examples of physical activity.

Physical activity and the heart

According to the recommendations on physical activity that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published in 2008 for Americans (“2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans” external link in English only), usually the term “Physical activity” refers to movements that benefit health.

Lifting weights, taking an aerobics class and practicing a team sport are examples of exercise.

Physical activity produces positive effects in many parts of the body. This article focuses on the benefits that physical activity represents the heart and lungs. It also contains tips to start and maintain a physical activity program. Physical activity is part of a healthy lifestyle for the heart. A healthy lifestyle for the heart also includes eating a healthy heart diet, maintaining a healthy weight, controlling stress and quitting smoking.


Staying physically active is one of the best ways to keep your heart and lungs healthy. Consuming a healthy diet and abstaining from smoking are other important ways to keep these organs healthy.

Many Americans do not perform enough physical activity. However, the good thing is that even moderate amounts of physical activity are beneficial to health. The more physical activity you do, the more you will benefit.

Types of physical activity – Physical activity and the heart
The four main types of physical activity are aerobic activity, activities for strengthening muscles, activities for strengthening bones and stretching. Aerobic activity is the one that most benefits the heart and lungs.

Aerobic activity

Aerobic activity puts large muscles in motion, such as those in the arms and legs. Aerobic activity is also called resistance activity.

Aerobic activity makes the heart beat faster than usual. During this type of activity breathing also becomes faster. Over time, regular aerobic activity makes the heart and lungs stronger and work better.

Other types of physical activity

The other types of physical activity – activities to strengthen muscles, those that strengthen bones and stretches – benefit the body in other ways.

Do push-ups on the floor (push-ups), do crunches, lift weights, climb stairs and dig in the garden or the garden are examples of muscle-strengthening activities.

In the strengthening activities of the bones, the feet, legs or arms support the weight of the body and the muscles exert pressure against the bones. This helps strengthen the bones.

The activities of muscle strengthening and strengthening of the bones can also be aerobic. Everything depends on whether they force the heart and the lungs to work more than usual. For example, running is an aerobic and bone-strengthening activity.

Stretches improve flexibility and the ability to completely move the joints. Touching the toes, doing side stretches and doing yoga exercises are examples of stretching.

Degrees of intensity in aerobic activity

Aerobic activity can be of different degrees: mild, moderate or intense. Moderate and intense aerobic activity is more beneficial for the heart than mild aerobic activity. However, soft activity is better than lack of activity.

The degree of intensity depends on the effort that must be made to carry out the activity. In general, people who are not in good physical shape have to work harder than those in better shape. For that reason, what represents a soft activity for one person may be a moderate-intensity activity for another.

Soft and moderate activities

Intense activities make the heart, lungs, and muscles work a lot. On a scale of 0 to 10, intense activity corresponds to a 7 or an 8. A person who is doing an intense activity can not say but a few words before stopping to take a breath.

Examples of aerobic activities

Below are several examples of aerobic activities. Depending on the physical form in which the person who performs them, these activities can be mild, moderate or intense:

  • Perform gardening tasks that increase the heart rate, such as digging or cleaning the ground with a hoe.
  • Walking, hiking, jogging and running.
  • Do water aerobics or swim from one end of the pool to the other several times.
  • Riding a bike, riding a skateboard, skating and jumping rope.
  • Practice dance and aerobic dance.
  • Play tennis, soccer, hockey, and basketball.

Benefits of physical activity

Physical activity brings many health benefits. These benefits are presented equally in people of both sexes and of any age and race.
For example, physical activity helps you stay at a healthy weight and makes it easier for you to do your daily tasks, such as climbing stairs and shopping.
Adults who are physically active are at lower risk of depression and decreased cognitive function as they get older. (Cognitive function encompasses reasoning, learning and discernment skills). Children and adolescents who are physically active may have fewer symptoms of depression than their peers.
Physical activity also reduces the risk of many diseases, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Many studies have shown the clear benefits that physical activity brings to the heart and lungs.

Physical activity strengthens the heart and improves the functioning of the lungs

When performed regularly, moderate and intense physical activity strengthens the heart muscle or heart muscle. Doing so improves the ability of the heart to pump blood to the lungs and the rest of the body. Then more blood circulates to the muscles and the oxygen concentrations in the blood increase.
The capillaries, which are the tiny blood vessels of the body, also widen. This allows them to carry more oxygen to all parts of the body and transport the waste products out of them.

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