Do you have or know anyone with one or more of the following factors?

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood sugar levels (or diabetes)
  • An abnormal heart rhythm
  • Being overweight
  • Poor diet and/or minimal participation in some form of physical activity daily
  • Smokes cigarettes

The above factors are all contributing factors for cardiovascular risk. This includes risk of a heart attack or stroke. Scientific research regularly reports the risk factors to cardiovascular disease in search for the biggest contributing factor. Believe it or not, lack of physical activity provides the highest risk of a cardiac event in the future. You can’t change your family history of getting a chronic condition later in life; however, the good news is that physical activity is the easiest to modify!

We all know that exercise has numerous physical benefits like reduction in weight, blood pressure cholesterol and risk of other chronic conditions as well as psychosocial benefits like improvements in mood, fatigue, wellbeing and overall quality of life. But what and how much exercise is best for cardiovascular health? There has been copious amounts research into the frequency, intensity, time and type of activity best for improvements in cardiovascular health. The current guidelines stated that all adults should:

  • Participate in 30mins or more of moderate intensity activity on most or all days of the week
  • Participate in resistance exercise 2-3 x weekly with 5-10 different exercises with about 3 sets of 10 repetitions
  • Remember there is no ‘one size fits all’ model. Every individual is different. Your mother’s intensity of exercise will be different to your own which is different to your neighbour. If you have never exercised before, it is important to consult with your health professional to ensure you have a program tailored to you and your needs. It is important to gradually progress your exercises to prevent injury.

Whether you participate in exercise regularly, whether you used to exercise but don’t now or never exercised before…there’s not better time to start! Don’t be afraid to ask your physiotherapist or exercise physiologist on what the best form of exercise might be right for you. Check out the Exercise Right website for great tips on how to get into exercising safely for you