Exercise for Your Heart

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Physical activity is one of the single best things you can do to jump start your way to good heart health.

"Exercise is definitely going to improve your heart health," says Pat Perine, an exercise physiologist at Family Fitness Center in Parkersburg. "It's going to make your heart a stronger muscle; it's going to improve your blood flow, which a lot of times is a big thing with heart disease. The inflammation in the heart, it will help with those things and improve those conditions."

It doesn't take much... the American College of Sports Medicine recommends starting out with moderate exercise.

"Just do three days a week, 10 minutes a day starting out," Perine says. "You'll see benefits just from doing that at about 50 percent of your max heart rate, which is how you gauge the intensity of the exercise."

A sedentary lifestyle is not the answer, give your heart some love and get moving.

"Usually exercise if you haven't done it is a very addicting thing. Once you start doing it you like it a lot more, just what it does to the body and everything," Perine says.

A purpose helps you strive toward something and work harder so your heart doesn't have to.

"Having a long-term goal is a good idea to have in mind, whether it be competing in a half marathon, complete four laps around a track or on the treadmill or anything like that," Perine says.

Just three times a week, a worthwhile commitment for many.

"It's not hard, that's all you have to do," Perine says. "If you progress from there, like on building blocks and things like that... you'll see improvements."

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