If you participate in fitness classes, you are probably enjoying the benefits of a toned body, weight loss, firm muscles, and increased strength. While these are some of the most common reasons people sign up for fitness classes, there are other benefits they will enjoy. A fitness class can also provide you with many health benefits. Here are some cardiovascular benefits of fitness classes and how they may help prevent a heart attack and stroke:
Reduces Arrhythmia Risk
Participating in a fitness class may lower your risk for a cardiac arrhythmia. Also known as an abnormal heart rhythm, a cardiac arrhythmia can cause your heart to beat too fast, too slow, or in an unorganized and irregular pattern. While many cardiac arrhythmias are harmless, others can be life-threatening.
Staying physically fit through regular exercise and fitness programs helps ensure that your heart will maintain a normal rate and rhythm because exercise strengthens the heart muscle so that its contractions stay strong and regular. If the heartbeat is irregular, a blood clot can form in one of the coronary arteries, causing a heart attack or stroke.
Fortunately, regular participation in a fitness class will help keep your blood pumping normally through your veins, and your heart contractions normal so that the risk for heart attack and stroke stays low.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Regular exercise classes can also help keep your blood pressure within normal limits so that your risk for a cardiovascular or cerebral vascular event is reduced. High blood pressure is one of the most significant risk factors for heart attack and stroke, and participating in regular exercise can dramatically lower this risk.
Regular exercise and fitness programs help promote optimal oxygenation, healthy cardiac contractions, and good kidney function so that your blood pressure does not get too high. Staying fit also helps reduce your risk of obesity-related hypertension.
When you maintain a normal weight, you are less likely to develop the accumulation of visceral fat, or fat that surrounds your internal organs. Visceral fat is thought to play an important role in the development of heart disease, so the less you have, the better.
A fitness class will also help you enjoy restorative sleep and may also lower your risk for developing obstructive sleep apnea, another important risk factor in the development of heart attack and stroke. While getting regular exercise can help lower your blood pressure, check with your doctor before starting a new fitness regimen.
Promotes Healthy Cholesterol Levels
The aerobic exercises that are performed in fitness classes help lower total cholesterol levels while raising your "good cholesterol" levels, also known as high-density lipoproteins. Also known as HDL cholesterol, high-density lipoproteins are cardioprotective and may significantly lower your risk for a heart attack.
People who lead sedentary lifestyles may have high levels of "bad cholesterol," or low-density lipoproteins, which can raise your risk for strokes and heart attacks. If you have high cholesterol and take medication to control it, regular participation in a fitness class may lower your lipid levels so much that your physician may decide to discontinue your medication or at least lower your dosage. Cholesterol-lowering medications can have serious side effects such as severe bone pain, muscle damage, elevated liver enzymes, and gastrointestinal problems.
If you want to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease or stroke, sign up for a fitness class. In addition to the many health benefits that fitness classes can provide, they can also enhance your mental health as well. Regular exercise is thought to lower your risk for depression and anxiety while helping to stabilize erratic behaviors in those suffering from mood disorders.