Exercises That Will Boost Your Heart Health
Probably, when you hear “cardio,” you imagine running or using an elliptical machine. However, there are many things you could do for your heart health without even requiring leaving your home or using special equipment. The most effective way to get your heart in better shape is to embrace compound exercises, which involve several muscle groups and multiple joints. With that said, here are five workouts that you can use to strengthen heart health.
1. Interval Training
Interval training is a powerful workout routine for a healthy heart, losing weight, preventing diabetes, and improving general shape. Interval training involves high-intensity workout with periods of active recovery. This means if you prefer to walk, you will alternate 5 minutes walking and 2 minutes running. When you raise and lower your heart rate continuously, you effectively improve vascular function and make the body efficient at burning fats and calories. It’s one of the best ways to improve the function of your blood vessels.
2. Resistance Training
Resistance training is also an effective heart-healthy workout. It’s mostly recommended for people with a lot of body fat (a risk factor for heart disease) because it helps create leaner muscle mass and reduce fat.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, an effective strength training program should follow two non-consecutive days a week, with sets of 10 to 15 repetitions for frail and older individuals or one set of 8 to 12 reps if you’re a healthy adult. You can work out with free weights, such as barbells and dumbbells, or use weight machines. Also, you can perform the exercise through body-resistance exercises like chin-ups, squats, and push-ups. Any of these should help you avoid heart health problems that are caused by a lack of fitness.
3. Total Body Nonimpact Sports
Photo by Henry Xu on UnsplashThe more muscles you involve in an activity, the more your heart is pushed to do. In the process of pushing to manage the stress, the heart grows stronger. Activities such as swimming, rowing, walking with poles, and cross-country skiing all activate muscles throughout the body, vital for a healthy heart.
But avoid pushing yourself too much as this can cause problems. Depending on your state of fitness, you want to gradually raise intensity, allowing the body to adjust with time. Don’t push too hard the first time you’re starting a workout. Even better, add intervals in the workout to make it the ideal exercise for a healthy heart.
4. Core Workouts
Photo by Jonathan Borba on UnsplashYour core consists of muscles that extend beyond your abs. These muscles are interconnected and stretch from the pelvis to the hips and back. They provide stability and strength to your upper and lower body and, as a result, boost heart health.
To build your core muscles, focus on a workout routine that involves all major core muscles. These include traverse abdominal muscles, the pelvic floor muscles, and erector spinae muscles. Several workouts help to build your core, including the plank, side plank, bicycle crunch, the bridge, and skip with a twist.
Not only does the workout help you play sports such as tennis and golf better, but it also helps you live better because of improved balance and flexibility.
5. Flexibility, Balance, and Stretching
Photo by LittPro Inc on UnsplashIn themselves, flexibility workouts don’t directly contribute benefits for heart health. You get better musculoskeletal health, which allows you to stay flexible and free from camping, joint pain, and other muscular issues. This flexibility is crucial as it helps you to maintain resistance training and aerobic exercise.
Having a robust musculoskeletal foundation helps you to perform any workouts that will benefit your heart. You prevent falls and maintain stability, so you don’t have to skip training because of injury. It’s recommended to do flexibility exercise before and after other workouts. There is a wide array of exercises in this category, including standing hamstring stretch, lunge with a spinal twist, triceps stretch, 90/90 stretch, etc.
Things to Avoid When Doing Exercise for Heart Health
There’s a ton of information on the internet about the types of exercises you could do to achieve quick results. It’s advisable to listen to a gym expert and understand what would work for you before you begin. There are a few things to avoid that might prove risky or cause serious problems.
You should avoid running long distances because this could damage your muscle if you’re not a professional athlete with years of training. Your body is not designed to take a long-term pounding, so take it slow.
Also, avoid vigorous exercise that you’ve not trained for. When doing an extreme workout, your body releases adrenaline, which increases blood circulation, putting you at risk of a heart attack. If you’re doing a heavy workout, begin with a warm-up to prepare your body. Pay attention to signals you get from your body, as this will let you know if you should continue or take a break.
Improving your heart health is a process that includes embracing the right diet and also the right workout. You can incorporate many exercises into your workout schedule to help you achieve and maintain a healthy heart. These include resistance training, interval training, total body non-impact sports, and core workouts.
Also, add flexibility training to enhance stability and balance so you don’t sustain injuries. And be sure to consult a gym expert for complete information on the essentials of a healthy heart that you should focus on to achieve your desired results. To help you stay on track you can download a free exercise log.
Author’s bio: Thomas Nemel is enthusiastic about healthy living and has a strong background in athletics. But before you pick the exercise routine to follow, he encourages you to consult a Gym Expert. Thomas’s goal is to inspire people to engage in fitness activities and live a healthy life.
Featured Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels