CareNow® - February 27, 2017

There are a number of ways to keep your heart healthy. Maintaining a healthy diet, avoiding bad habits like smoking and getting enough sleep are a few things you can do for better heart health. However, perhaps the most effective way to better your heart health is to exercise regularly. Because your heart is a muscle, it should be worked out just like other muscles in the body.

Exercising can help your body burn calories, lower your blood pressure, reduce LDL "bad" cholesterol and boost your HDL "good" cholesterol. But what exercises are optimal for heart health? When you are working out for heart health, it's important to include aerobic exercise as well as strength training. Exercises such as running, jogging and biking are good examples of workouts that get your heart rate up.

It's important to exercise at least 30 minutes 5 days a week. If you're new to working out, there's no need to rush into it. You can build up to that duration over time. Try to keep your pace low for the first few minutes of your workout as you warm up and at the end when you cool down.

Before beginning an exercise routine, it's important to inform your doctor. He or she will give you a full exam and make sure you're healthy enough to work out. If you experience pain or pressure in your chest when working out, you should stop immediately. When starting a new regimen, it's normal to have muscle soreness for a day or so. The more you work out, the more this will fade.

If you're starting to work out for the first time in awhile, consider checking in with your local CareNow. At , we have 28 locations throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex (with more opening soon!), along with locations in Las Vegas, Denver, Nashville, Austin, Orlando, and Kansas City. Visit CareNow.com for a complete list of locations near you.

Disclaimer: Patients' health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.