Written By: HealthQuest Trainer Samie Lovisa
Each February is National Heart Awareness Month in which Americans are encouraged to join the battle against heart disease. It is estimated that 630,000 Americans die each year from heart disease, that is 1 in every 4 deaths. Heart disease refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that lead to the heart that can cause a heart attack, angina (chest pain), or a stroke. Other conditions included are those that affect your heart muscle, valves, and your heart’s rhythm. But what’s the big deal? Many believe that since it is a disease you can be ‘cured’ with surgery or medication but, heart disease is a lifelong condition. Once you get it, you will always have it. Procedures such as bypass surgery, aortic valve surgery, coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), to name a few, can improve the issue by increasing blood flow and oxygen flow to the heart more easily but the damage remains.
Exercise are imperative in decreasing one’s risk of heart disease and for those who have heart disease. Exercise benefits include lowering blood pressure, reducing strain on the heart due to improved function, increase HDL levels which transport fat away from the arteries, reduce LDL levels that deposit within the arteries contributing to heart disease. All these aspects lower one’s risk of heart disease as well improves those with heart disease risk profile.
It is recommended that adults get at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity, which can be broken down to 30 minutes of aerobic activity 5 days a week. Aerobic activity is categorized as activity involving large muscle groups such as walking, jogging, biking, etc. At HealthQuest we have over 30+ machines to choose from and group exercise classes focused on aerobic activity! In the fitness center we have treadmill, ellipticals, steppers, bikes, rowers, ski ergs, that all can provide the aerobic activity that is recommended. Remember 30 minutes a day does not have to be continuous, you can split it up between machines as for example 15 minutes on the treadmill and then another 15 minutes on the rower. Mix it up! Some group exercise classes that offer aerobic exercise are our MyRide, Zumba, Impact, BodyAttack, and many more; just look for the classes highlighted in purple on the group exercise schedule!