Exercising Hard for a Healthy Heart: Raising the Heart Rate

by May 8, 2014

Exercise has long been shown to have a powerful impact on cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. While any exercise routine can contribute towards the improvement of an individual’s heart health, it is believed that vigorous exercise makes the most powerful impact on the health of this vital organ. For this reason, it is essential to consider including high intensity activities when developing a personal exercise plan.

Exploring the Link Between Intensity and Heart Health

The benefits of regular physical activity is as a whole innumerable. Researchers have long believed, however, that vigorous exercise that causes the heart rate to rise has a longer lasting effect on heart health. According to a study review conducted at the University of Mexico in 2006, higher intensity aerobic routines are more effective at reducing the risk factors of coronary heart disease.

Higher intensity exercises are believed to be the most effective for a multitude of different reasons. These routines allow exercisers to increase overall aerobic capacity, which correlates to a reduction in the incidence of cardiovascular disease. It has been surmised that the neurological responses of high intensity routines could also be responsible for the overall effect of these activities.

Following a High Intensity Routine

Beginning a high intensity routine that raises one’s heart rate can be a challenging step. Because these routines require a much more advanced level of physical fitness, most individuals will need to slowly work up to intense regimes. Careful attention should be paid to ensure that such exercise routines are not put into place too quickly, which could result in injury.

Heart Rate Max - Min Levels

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 64 years old exercise vigorously for at least 75 minutes each week.  This exercise routine should furthermore be combined with muscle-strengthening activity for optimal health. The same guidelines suggest that increasing the amount of intense aerobic activity twofold to 150 minutes each week will have an even greater effect on overall cardiovascular health and physical fitness.

While some individuals are reluctant to begin a high intensity routine because of the difficulty of such exercise regimes, the significant health benefits of such activity mandates considering such plans. For those that are unable to follow a high intensity activity for a sustained period of time, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends staggering lower intensity exercises with those that raise the heart rate. This will ensure the individual still receives some of the benefits of a high intensity routine.

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