Cardiovascular System


How does exercise affect the cardiovascular system?

According to the American Heart Association, physical inactivity is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and coronary artery disease. Regular aerobic physical activity (brisk walking, running, jogging) not only increases general fitness levels and capacity for exercise, but it also plays a role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Regular physical activity can also control blood lipids. Other benefits of regular aerobic physical activity include reducing high blood pressure, reducing triglyceride levels, and increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels. Healthy individuals should include at least 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic physical activity on most days of the week. The 30-minute total may be divided into 10 or 15 minute sessions, but should attain 50 to 75 percent of maximum heart rate.


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