The many ways exercise helps your heart

A single exercise session may provide immediate and long-lasting protection.

Why is exercise so good for your health? Let us count the ways. One obvious answer is that exercise burns calories, which can help you maintain or reach a healthy weight. Regular exercise also improves factors linked to cardiovascular health, resulting in lower blood pressure, healthier cholesterol levels, and better blood sugar regulation.

And that's not all: Exercise also promotes positive physiological changes, such as encouraging the heart's arteries to dilate more readily. It also helps your sympathetic nervous system (which controls your heart rate and blood pressure) to be less reactive. But these changes may take weeks, months, or even years to reach their full effect.

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