The Best Exercises for Heart Health
You don’t have to be a high-level athlete to improve your heart health. Moderately intense cardiovascular exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease as well as other chronic illnesses while increasing endurance, flexibility, and strength. Any amount of physical activity is good for your overall health, but let’s consider the best exercises for heart health.
Brisk Walking: The human body was designed to walk. Hit the road or the treadmill at a pace that allows you to push yourself. All you need is a pair of supportive comfortable shoes and weather-appropriate clothing.
Jogging: While this is more challenging than walking, it is another exercise your body is made to do. It is one of the best ways to burn calories. If you are not used to jogging, work up to it by running 1-2 minutes for every 5 minutes of brisk walking. Increase the minutes you run as your endurance improves.
Swimming: Whether you are swimming laps or participating in a fitness class, swimming will get your heart rate racing and improve your heart health. The water provides resistance to improve strength and tone muscle while at the same time protecting your joints. It is a great low-impact cardiovascular exercise if you have joint problems.
Cycling: This is another low-impact exercise that preserves the health of your joints. It can be done at the gym in a spin class or outdoors on the road or trails. Or how about going on a running your errands on your bike?
Circuit Training: If the above exercises seem monotonous, you can mix it in with circuit training. For example, for every 5-10 minutes of cardiovascular exercise do one strength training exercise such as push-ups or shoulder presses.
Experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity to improve heart health. This can be broken down to 30 minutes a day or even 15 minutes twice a day depending on your schedule. The key is to be consistent. In a few short months, you will reap the benefits of improved heart health – No more huffing and puffing with routine activities of daily living.
Before starting any new fitness program, be sure to consult your doctor to ensure the fitness plan is appropriate for your age and health.
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