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Atherosclerosis: 7 Preventive Exercises

Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, occurs when chronic high blood pressure causes the walls of your arteries to become stiff and thick. As time passes, cholesterol and lipids accumulate on the walls of these hardened arteries, forming the build up known as arterial plaque. Atherosclerosis isn't painful in and of itself, but it can restrict blood flow to key organs and eventually cause a heart attack or stroke. You can prevent atherosclerosis by exercising regularly; doctors recommend moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

1) Jogging

Jogging is a great aerobic exercise that can keep your entire cardiovascular and respiratory systems fit. Jogging also helps you maintain a healthy weight by helping your body burn stored fat as fuel. 

2) Walking

Studies show that while aerobic exercises like jogging are powerful tools in the prevention of atherosclerosis, low-impact exercises like walking also have some benefit. If you're unable to jog, take a walk or use brisk walking as a way to rest and catch your breath periodically during a long jog. You don't have to wear yourself out in order to prevent artherosclerosis.

3) Swimming

Swimming is a great low-impact exercise that helps tone all the muscles of your body. Since swimming is an aerobic exercise, it will help your body burn stored fat. And since it's low impact, it's perfect for those who have joint disorders like arthritis or for those who have suffered a joint injury. 

4) Cycling

Cycling is a great way to strengthen your cardiovascular and respiratory systems, as well as tone the muscles of your lower body. If you'd like to stave off atherosclerosis while strengthening and shaping your calves, glutes and quads, try cycling. You can easily integrate cycling into your daily lifestyle by commuting to work on a bike or by using your bike for transportation when you run errands or visit friends.

5) Yoga

Yoga is another low-impact, gentle exercise that can be of great benefit in the prevention of atherosclerosis. Yoga helps improve circulation throughout the body. It also tones muscles and increases flexibility. Yoga can also help you manage stress, strengthen your joints, improve your balance and coordination and promote feelings of calm and well being.

6) Weight Training

Weight training strengthens your muscles and builds muscle density, which can lead to stronger, healthier bones. Weight training is a great preventative exercise to add to any fitness regimen; it helps build core and muscular strength to boost your stamina and endurance and prevent injury during other types of physical activity.

7) Jumping Rope

Rope jumping isn't just for kids anymore. Professional athletes jump rope to improve agility and strengthen the cardiovascular system. Jump ropes are affordable and easy to store and carry, making them the perfect addition to any home gym. Vary your jump roping style by hopping for ten jumps, skipping for ten jumps and jumping for ten jumps; this way, you'll avoid muscle fatigue and be less likely to trip over the rope.

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