The Role of Exercise in Improving Vascular Health

The Role of Exercise in Improving Vascular Health 

Having a healthy vascular system is an important part of living an overall healthy life. Strong blood vessels lead to good circulation which can have a big impact on how you feel physically and how well your body functions. While many factors can affect your vascular health, including genetics and diet, the good news is that exercise can have a noticeable impact on vascular health.

You don't have to be a bodybuilder to develop a healthy vascular system. Even low-impact workouts, such as walking or swimming, can promote good blood circulation and stronger blood vessels. Here's what you need to know about the role exercising can have in improving vascular health.

Effects of Exercise on Vascular Health

When you move your body, your muscles need more blood to function properly. Because of this, your body strengthens and improves functionality of your blood vessels as it moves oxygen-rich blood from your heart to your muscles. Additionally, staying active can help you maintain a healthy weight, which puts less stress on your vascular system. As a result, exercising can lead to:

  • Increased blood flow

  • Vasodilation (widening of blood vessels)

  • Reduced blood pressure

  • Improved endothelial function (the function of the inner lining of blood vessels)

  • Increased nitric oxide production (a vasodilator and anti-inflammatory molecule)

  • Reduced inflammation

  • Reduced risk of atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries)

Benefits of Exercise for Vascular Health

Whether you've been diagnosed with a vascular condition or you're striving to live a long, healthy life, incorporating regular exercise into your daily routine is an excellent way to promote the well-being of your vascular system. Some of the many benefits that exercise can provide for your vascular health include:

  • Reduced risk of heart disease

  • Reduced risk of stroke

  • Reduced risk of peripheral artery disease

  • Reduced risk of chronic kidney disease

  • Improved cognitive function

  • Improved sexual function

Tips to Incorporating Exercise into Your Daily Routine

Learning how to incorporate exercise into your everyday life may be a big adjustment. It's important to remember that no two people's health or circumstances are exactly the same, so you should find a routine that works for you and your particular needs. Here are some tips to make living an active, healthy lifestyle simple:

  • If you have any medical conditions, speak to your healthcare provider about how to safely begin exercising

  • Start small. Do what you're comfortable with, then work your way up to more challenging tasks

  • Make exercising fun by doing things you enjoy, such as dancing or taking your dog for a walk 

  • Ask a friend to walk, swim, or bike with you to keep you accountable

Exercise is not reserved for people who are young and in shape, anyone can improve their vascular health by staying active in ways that are tailored to their capabilities.  Striving to stay active with simple exercises, such as walking, swimming, or biking, can lead to an array of health benefits, including promoting good circulation and preventing heart disease. The good news is that it's never too late to start prioritizing your vascular health.

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