10 Tips for Heart Healthy Exercise

Apr 1, 2014


Dr. Holly Andersen, director of education and outreach at the Perelman Heart Institute at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and Dr. Maryjane Farr, heart failure and transplant cardiologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center offer the following advice for those looking to resume or begin a workout routine this summer:

  • Any form of exercise will substantially reduce your risk of heart disease. Sports, aerobic exercise, and even walking are all beneficial
  • Have high blood pressure? Regular exercise will lower your blood pressure and bad cholesterol (LDL) while helping to increase the protective cholesterol (HDL)
  • Avoid extreme temperatures that can alter your circulation and increase the workload on your heart, making breathing difficult
  • When it is too hot or humid outside, exercise in a cool, air-conditioned space
  • If you are prone to lightheadedness (from low blood pressure), an endurance athlete, or over age 75, you should replenish your electrolytes — having a little salt can be important for you
  • Stay out of extremely hot or cold showers and saunas after your workout, these can increase the workload on your heart
  • Take advantage of the coolest times of day to exercise outdoors — the early morning and evening hours
  • Wear sunscreen! Sunburn decreases your body's ability to cool itself off
  • Drink plenty of water throughout your workout routine, even before you feel thirsty
  • Consult your physician before beginning or changing your exercise regimen

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, based in New York City, is the nation's largest not-for-profit, non-sectarian hospital, with 2,353 beds. The Hospital has nearly 2 million inpatient and outpatient visits in a year, including more than 220,000 visits to its emergency departments — more than any other area hospital. NewYork-Presbyterian provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine at five major centers: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division. One of the most comprehensive health care institutions in the world, the Hospital is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area and is consistently ranked among the best academic medical institutions in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. The Hospital has academic affiliations with two of the nation's leading medical colleges: Weill Cornell Medical College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

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