February is Heart Health Month and we want to highlight some ways we have helped our clients live a heart healthy life! We all know that exercise is a big player when it comes to your health, specifically your heart health, but do you know why? What type of exercise is best for your heart and what changes take place in your body that makes it beneficial? The answers to these questions are important and can help you understand why exercise is so essential.

Both cardiovascular exercise, as well as resistance training, are important for your health and together they can help keep your heart in tip-top shape. Your heart is a muscle, and just like the other muscles in your body, it needs to be exercised to become strong. When you exercise, there are specific changes that happen not only to the actual structure of your heart, but to the entire cardiovascular system. For example, the chamber walls of your heart become thicker as they get stronger, just like how a bicep would get bigger, making your heart able to pump blood out to your body more efficiently. Your resting heart rate and blood pressure decreases, which reduces your risk for heart disease.

Another example of how exercise has a positive impact on your heart health is that it helps to raise your good cholesterol, known as HDL. HDL’s role is to help transport excess cholesterol from the walls of the arteries to the liver, where the particles get metabolized and excreted from the body. This keeps the arteries clear, and clear arteries means good, unobstructed blood flow. Exercise has this effect on your HDL because it increases the production of enzymes that increase this cholesterol removing process.

Here at HealthMed, we take heart health very seriously and want our clients to as well! Education is a good first step to promote a heart healthy lifestyle, but we don’t want to just stop there. Almost everyone knows that exercise is important for their health, but they often need some guidance on where to start. We want to see our clients putting this knowledge into practice and to start seeing results.

One way that we have implemented this idea is to have our personal trainer come onsite for training sessions in the gym. Our personal trainer creates exercise programs for each person, depending on their fitness level and exercise experience, that includes both cardiovascular exercise as well as resistance training. They also get a chance to walk through these exercises with the trainer and learn the correct form for each exercise. We have seen an increase in the number of clients that now feel empowered and excited to go to the gym. They have the confidence to walk in and know what they need to do. There have been several people who said they used to avoid the office gym, but now they look forward to stopping in and working out.

We will continue educating our clients on the importance of exercise, as well as coming alongside them to give them the tools to be able to implement it into their everyday lives. Celebrate Heart Health Month with us in February by being active and getting your heart pumping!