Exercises for healthy heart are important for a good and healthy life. Strengthening the heart muscle is the most efficient tool to keep the bodyweight under control and obviate the artery damage from high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol that can cause a stroke or heart attack.
10 Exercises for Healthy Heart
The heart muscle grows stronger and healthier with an active life. The people who don’t exercise are likely to get heart disorders, approximately twice than active people. According to a study done by the American Heart Association (AHA), physical inactivity is a notable risk factor in developing heart disorders, both in men and women in the United States. Regular exercise helps in:
- Reducing blood pressure
- Burning calories
- Increases HDL “good” cholesterol
- Decreases LDL “bad” cholesterol
Here are some best exercises for healthy heart:
Walking is a great exercise for healthy heart as it strengthens the heart muscles. It is an inexpensive, safe, enjoyable, and easy to fit in everyone’s busy schedule. Fast walking gets the heart rate up and is easier for the joints than any other type of physical exercise. For walking, all one needs is a comfortable and supportive pair of shoes. The flexibility and docility of walking facilitate it for all to do this.
2. Weight Training
Weight training helps in building muscle mass and in burning fat. It is a good exercise for healthy heart. Exercises like squats, pull-ups, or push-ups assists to build muscle and also contribute to heart health and bone. Even though one can go to the gym to exercise with weights, but the most efficient weight training occurs when one uses their body weight.
Swimming is one of the best exercises for healthy heart. According to a study done by the CDC, swimming is the third favorite sport, in the United States. Two and a half hours of swimming every week provides all the benefits that a healthy heart needs. It is a full-body workout that not only stimulates the body but also the heart. Another benefit of swimming is that it gives less stress on the bones and joints.
Practicing yoga helps in strengthening and toning the body muscles. It comes with important health advantages, including weight reduction, enhanced flexibility, and improvements in mood and energy. Research shows that it benefits the heart. Yoga originated in ancient India and it contributes to a healthier heart. According to the research done by the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, published in March 2016, people suffering from atrial fibrillation had lower heart rates and blood pressure after 30 minutes of light yoga practice.
5. Interval Training
Interval training is the short rounds of alternate exercise between the high-intensity exercise which takes a longer duration of active recovery. It is a fabulous exercise for healthy heart as it involves a full-sized exercise in a short duration of time. Raising and lowering the heart rate assists to burn calories and develops the functioning of the blood vessels.
Cycling can help in more ways than in getting from one place to another. It is a good exercise for healthy heart as it helps in reducing the risk of heart diseases. Cycling uses the large muscles in the legs, to elevate the heart rate. It also improves the mental health of a person.
7. Aerobic Exercise
Johns Hopkins, an exercise physiologist Kerry J. Stewart, Ed.D. says that “Resistance training and aerobic exercise are significant for heart health”. Aerobic exercise also termed as cardio, improves blood circulation, resulting in lowered heart rate and blood pressure. Also, it enhances the overall fitness of the body. Aerobic exercise helps in cardiac output and decreases the risk of diabetes. It also helps in regulating blood glucose.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that every individual should do two hours and thirty minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week. Few examples of moderate-intensity aerobic exercises are:
- Taking a comfortable swim
- Biking on flat terrain
- Going for a brisk walk
8. Resistance Training (Strength Work)
Resistance training, also known as strength training, is a great exercise for healthy heart. It has a specific impact on body composition. Resistance training when linked with aerobics, reduces fat, and helps in increasing good cholesterol in the body.
Resistance training is different from bodybuilding and weightlifting. It includes the workout of major muscle groups like arms, hips, legs, chest, shoulders, and back. A few examples of resistance training exercise include:
- Doing squats
- Doing sit-ups
- Doing pushups
- Using resistance bands
- Lifting free weights
9. Stretching, Flexibility, and Balance
Flexibility exercises do not contribute to heart health directly. It benefits the musculoskeletal health, enabling flexibility and reduces the cramping, joint pain, and other muscular issues. The best thing about flexibility training is that it can be done anytime, anywhere. Improving flexibility is important for a healthy heart.
10. Circuit Training
One of the best exercises for healthy heart is circuit training, as it improves cardiovascular fitness. Brendan J. Fox, a Toronto-based health and fitness expert says that workout at a high intensity makes the heart pump blood harder, challenging the elasticity of the arterial wall. He further adds that it stretches the arteries and increases the elasticity for cardiovascular fitness.
No matter what exercise for healthy heart you choose, practicing it regularly is essential for a healthy heart and body. Consider professional help if required.