Workouts for a Healthy Heart
Incorporating heart-pumping physical activity into your life can prevent two of the nation’s top killers – heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association suggests spending at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise. Don’t have that much time? Shoot for 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, or a combo of the two.
Physical activity is anything that gets you moving, but aerobic exercises especially improve cardiovascular health. Some of the top heart-healthy aerobic exercises include:
If the intensity of walking isn’t enough for you, jogging is an amped-up option that can improve your heart health. Set small goals if you’re just starting out, and warm up by walking before you break into a light jog. You may feel low on energy and lack motivation at first, but don’t let that stop you. The more you exercise, the more energy you’ll have.
Swimming works both the heart and the lungs, which trains the body to use oxygen more efficiently. Swimming is also ideal for those with joint issues, as the water offers support and resistance, allowing a dynamic workout with little chance of injury. Plus, swimming is soothing and stress-reducing, which contributes to cardiovascular health.
It may seem simple, but incorporating a walking routine into your lifestyle can effectively boost your heart health. Whether you’re trying to ease into an exercise regimen, aren’t into running, or have a slight injury, brisk walking can have big benefits and might be the best option for you. Walking can lower your risk for three risk factors of heart disease and stroke – high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
Your heart, blood vessels, and lungs all get a work out when you bike, plus it’s low impact, fun, and time-efficient (cycle to work or to run errands!). In addition to cardiovascular fitness, biking can also reduce anxiety and depression, improve joint mobility, and increase muscle strength.