Physical inactivity is a modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Technology and modern lifestyle influences are leading people toward increasingly sedentary existences. Physical inactivity substantially increases the risk of developing diseases such as: obesity, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, heart attack, stroke and osteoporosis. Regular aerobic exercise helps reduce cardiovascular risk.
Why is exercise important?
When we exercise regularly, the entire body works in harmony, HDL (good) cholesterol tends to increase, the flow of blood and oxygen to the tissues improves, and blood pressure decreases. Exercise is also associated with improved self-esteem and a general sense of well-being. Exercise helps boost energy and builds strength for performing everyday activities, because it conditions the muscles and joints.
What type of exercise is best for the heart?
Aerobic exercise is the most highly recommended type of physical activity because it conditions the heart to pump blood and oxygen to the whole body. Examples include walking, running, swimming and bicycling. It is important to pick activities that fit your physical abilities and preferences.
What should an exercise routine include?
Exercise routines should always include:
Warm-up: Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes with exercises that prepare the body to engage in vigorous activity and avoid muscle and joint injuries.
Aerobic exercise: Perform aerobic exercises for 20 to 30 minutes; these should be rhythmic and should involve continuous use of the muscle groups.
Cool-down: Cool down for 5 to 10 minutes, gradually reducing exercise intensity until breathing and pulse are normal; stretch all involved muscle groups.
Exercise 3 or 4 times a week.
Why should children be active?
Physical activity is very important for children and adolescents because it helps to build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints; helps control weight; boosts psychological development, self-esteem and learning capacity; and helps control stress.
How much physical activity do kids need?
Kids require regular physical activity that increases their energy expenditure.
Recommendations to promote physical activity:
Dra. Yvonne García-Richaud
Presidenta de la Fundación InterAmericana del Corazón
Coordinadora del Grupo de Actividad Física