Heart health is one of the leading causes of death in the United States today. That means that many individuals looking at ways to improve their quality of life are looking for creative ways to help their heart health. While improving your diet, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress are all factors that can help improve heart health, exercise is one of the most beneficial lifestyle changes you can make. However, if you need a little more reason to strap on your running shoes and get out the door, here are a few additional reasons that jogging can help your heart.
Running Helps to Reduce Excess Body Weight
Individuals who carry excess weight are putting additional stress on their hearts. Our body tissue requires oxygen to live and function, even that pesky layer of fat that you want to eliminate. Your heart has to pump blood to more tissue and push that blood even further. Running, jogging, and even walking can help burn some additional calories to help you drop the weight.
Jogging is one of the most popular forms of exercise, primarily because it doesn’t take expensive equipment and you don’t have to go to the gym. However, start slowly and listen to your body. Speak with your doctor if you’re starting a new exercise program to ensure you set yourself up for success.
Jogging Helps to Build Heart Muscle
Similar to doing weight training, jogging helps work the muscles in your heart. Elevating your heart rate and creating the additional demand for oxygen in your muscles allows your heart to “work out.” Over time, this can strengthen your heart muscle. Additionally, jogging also helps to create a heart that works more efficiently.
Jogging Helps Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
Routine exercise can help to build a healthier body. However, jogging is a cardiovascular exercise and has specific benefits that help to impact your blood pressure and lower your cholesterol levels. Lowering your blood pressure is related, in part, to the previous section where you are creating a more efficient heart. Jogging also helps to decrease the “bad cholesterol,” the low-density lipoprotein, and increase your good cholesterol levels (high-density lipoprotein).
Jogging Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease
Studies have shown that individuals who participate in routine running regimens reduce their chances of developing heart disease by 35-55%. Jogging or running also helps to improve blood flow and build joints and muscles that are more resistant to injury as we age.
If you’re considering starting jogging, it is crucial to work with a doctor to ensure that you set appropriate goals and that your current health can handle your planned workout routine.