How long do I need to work out to increase Nitric Oxide levels? | Dr. Lou Ignarro Answers
How long do I need to work out to increase Nitric Oxide production?
You’ll like the answer to this question: not very long. Any amount of exercise increases Nitric Oxide (NO) production, whether you take a 10-minute walking break during your workday or run a 10k on a Saturday morning. Even walking up stairs or across the parking lot supports NO levels.
Any form of movement increases blood flow, resulting in what’s known as “shear stress” on the blood vessels. Shear stress stimulates the endothelium, the organ responsible for producing NO. This stimulation—caused by any amount of movement—encourages the endothelial cells to produce more NO. As you may know, NO is an important molecule with many functions in the body that increase blood flow, helping deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissues. While NO is necessary to nearly every organ in the body, healthy NO levels are especially critical to maintaining heart health.
To clarify, the amount of exercise you do is related to the amount of NO you’re producing. While you can bump up your NO levels by walking, you can really increase NO production by working out for a longer period of time, such as an hour jog. A minimum of 2.5 hours of moderate exercise per week is what I recommend, but if you can do more, that’s even better.
The best part of all is that regular exercise contributes to NO production all day long, even when you’re not working out. Along with a healthy, balanced diet, moving often and regularly is a natural way to support the health of your endothelium, boost NO levels and support heart health.
What else are you doing to increase NO production? Please share with me in the comments.