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Shut the front door… and get outside

March 01, 2017

Year-round exercise keeps your heart healthy

You’ve probably noticed some tulips peeking out of the ground and trees beginning to bud. Despite the indecisive weather we’ve recently experienced, spring is coming! But there is no need to wait until it is consistently balmy to begin walking or exercising outside.

“There is no harm in walking or exercising in the cold,” says Harvey Hahn, MD, a Kettering Physician Network cardiologist.

And Dr. Hahn knows from experience. A marathon-runner, Dr. Hahn maintains his outdoor exercise routine year-round.

Dress in layers you can remove as your body warms up, get outside, and enjoy these three heart health benefits of exercise.

1.            Better blood pressure

“Your blood pressure is a reading of how hard your heart has to work to deliver blood to all of the organs in your body,” says Dr. Hahn. “Regular exercise makes your heart stronger and a stronger heart can pump blood more efficiently.”

2.            Increase in good (HDL) cholesterol

“HDL is beneficial because it carries cholesterol from other parts of the body to the liver where it can be removed,” explains Dr. Hahn. “Higher levels of HDL mean you have a lower chance of getting heart disease.”

3.            Improved circulation

“Poor blood flow contributes to heart disease, diabetes complications, and other issues,” says Dr. Hahn. “When you exercise your heart rate increases, which in turn increases your circulation and improves blood flow and oxygen delivery to all of your organs.”

Bonus: When you exercise in cold weather you can burn more calories because your body works double time to keep your temperature nice and toasty.

Want to get a pulse on your heart health? Attend an upcoming Healthy Hearts Basic Screening.