Regular exercise not only benefits the muscular and skeletal systems, it helps the cardiovascular system as well. When coupled with an effective nutritional strategy, regular exercise can help win the battle against heart disease and other cardiovascular ailments.
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Exercise trains the muscles as well as the heart. Regular exercise forces the heart to get into "shape," allowing it to increase the efficiency with which it pumps blood around your body. The net effect of this is a reduced level of resting (and active) blood pressure.
Regular exercise causes the rate of blood flow throughout the body to increase, which helps "flush out" the bloodstream, removing troublesome products before they develop into a potential threat. The net effect of this is a reduction in LDL cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol).
You can envision this effect by imagining your arteries as a hose with dirt caked inside. If the flow of water through the hose is minimal, the dirt will remain; however, if you increase the flow, you will sweep the dirt away.
Regular exercise also conditions the heart in another important way--it improves its ability to recover from stressful situations. The more often your heart is placed under controlled stress, the more efficient it becomes at coping with and recovering from that stress. The net result of this is a more rapid return to resting heart-rate levels after the cessation of exercise, resulting in a more resilient body overall.
Capillary Density Increases
Increased blood flow throughout the body has yet another benefit to your overall conditioning levels. When blood flow to muscles is regularly increased through bouts of exercise, the muscles will thereafter develop additional capillaries to better utilise the additional blood and nutrients contained therein. The net result of this is improved endurance during training sessions.
Finally, the aforementioned benefits and increased efficiency garnered by the cardiovascular system has another tangential benefit--the reduction of the overall possibility of disease. The body is a finely tuned machine, and exercise is the best way to provide regular maintenance. Keeping your cardiovascular system in shape through exercise is the best way to lower your probability of suffering cardiac conditions, such as a heart attack or stroke.
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