How Much Exercise For Boosting Heart Health?

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Exercise is one of the key methods for lowering cholesterol – and blood pressure, my new concern — without medications. So to reduce my blood pressure and to continue to keep my cholesterol in check without any meds, I’ve been wondering just how much, how hard, and how often I need to exercise.

In researching, I found this nifty chart from the American Heart Association. It’s a little busy, but the key is the bottom-most graphic, which is for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure (how handy that they are together goal-wise!)

Apparently, to lower cholesterol and blood pressure,

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New Year’s Exercise Resolutions and Heart Health

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If you’re like most Americans, getting more exercise is on your list of New Year’s resolutions.

And for good reason: exercise is one of the key methods for lowering cholesterol – and blood pressure, my new concern — without medications.  Oh, and that dropping weight side-benefit (ha ha) is kind of fantastic, too.

So to reduce my blood pressure and to continue to keep my cholesterol in check without any meds, I’ve been wondering just how much, how hard, and how often I need to exercise.

In researching, I found this nifty chart from the American Heart Association.  

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Spinning to Cardio Fitness

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Daily exercise is a key part of lowering cholesterol without medication, and in the long, cold winter months, my exercise of choice is tennis (and my real exercise is spin class.)

For those who’ve not tried it yet, spin class is an amazing cardiovascular workout.  Some shy away because they’ve heard it’s intense…and it can be. But it doesn’t have to be – if you’re curious, drop by your local gym or spin studio and try a class.  First class is often free and – like yoga – it’s best at least at first to go at your own pace and don’t worry about what everyone else is doing.

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How To Set A SIMPLE Heart Rate Goal

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I like to wear a heart rate monitor while spinning or jogging so I have confirmation for how things are going and can adjust my workout.  Some might call this OCD; I prefer to think of it as positive motivation. Wearing a heart rate monitor helps me figure out if I’m working too hard (almost never the problem) or if I can safely push a little more to get a great workout in as short a time as possible.

Plus it helps keep my mind off the actual exercise.

The trouble is, I have never been able to figure out what my actual target should be.

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The dog ate my exercise plan

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Even blogging about exercising hasn’t inspired the near-daily exercise I need to lower my cholesterol.

And we already know the goody-two-shoes example set by my husband isn’t doing the trick either.  I suspect my ‘goody-two-shoes’ choice of adjective might be part of the problem.

Actually, though, the problem for me with exercise this week was tennis.   With all the snow and ice-storms, the roof at the indoor courts I play at twice a week caved in on Tuesday, taking the entire structure down with it.  Thank goodness the club had been closed early due to the weather so no one was there when it happened.

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