The Top 4 Exercises For Your Heart
Spring will be here soon, along with warmer weather and the opportunity to exercise more outdoors. It’s a good time to reflect on the ways you can improve on your lifestyle and improve your heart health. A key aspect of cardiovascular health is to get your heart pumping regularly with exercise.
Luckily, many types of exercise improve your heart health. Get your heart rate up (safely!) with these recommended exercises.
You don’t have to be an athlete or even enjoy sports to get the right exercise for your heart. Even regular brisk walks can raise your heart rate enough to improve how your heart pumps blood and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.
During your walk, you should move at a pace that allows you to talk, but prevents you from singing. You may feel like you are breathing a little hard, which is a good sign your heart rate is elevated.
Brisk walks are an example of moderate exercise. Other examples include cycling, playing tennis, or using an elliptical machine. The American Heart Association recommends that all adults perform 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week for better cardiovascular health.
Yoga promotes relaxation that lowers blood pressure. It also helps you improve joint health and flexibility, which is important for staying active as you age. Some of the more difficult yoga poses or flows can also raise your heart rate in intervals. Quickly raising than lowering your heart rate (called interval training) can burn calories while improving vascular health.
Vigorous activities, like swimming laps quickly, hiking uphill, running or playing soccer, offer cardiovascular benefits in a shorter time frame than moderate exercise. These activities get your heart rate higher, more quickly than moderate exercise and can really strengthen the heart muscle.
However, vigorous activity is not for everyone. If you are already at risk for a heart attack, vigorous activity can put dangerous stress on your heart. Always talk to your doctor before starting a vigorous exercise program.
While strength training may not increase your heart rate much, increased muscle mass can help reduce your body fat and even lower your cholesterol. Good strength training can use dumbbells, your body weight, or resistance bands to work your muscles and make them stronger. Mixing in three sessions of 15-20 minute weight training with aerobic (cardiovascular) exercise every week can benefit your heart, bones, and muscles.
At Bon Secours Sports Performance, we offer personalized exercise plans to help improve your health, lose weight, and get your heart pumping. Contact us today to learn more about heart healthy exercise plans.