The human heart is the hardest working organ in the body. Beating on average 72 times a minute, your heart pushes blood throughout your entire body delivering vital oxygen and nutrients to your bodily tissue. And like any other muscle in your body, the more your work your heart, the stronger it will be. Any sort of movement can have cardiovascular benefits – even taking a relaxing 30-minute walk. Try these 7 heart healthy exercises for improved cardiovascular fitness!
7 Heart Healthy Exercises
These 7 exercises are especially effective for improving cardiovascular health:
We all know that running is an excellent way to shed extra pounds, but it’s also great for your heart. Running intervals are a way to challenge your cardiovascular fitness.
You want to work hard enough to spike heart rate levels and take minimal rest between intervals – 10 second spikes of intervals is a good place to start.
2.) Weight Training
Resistance exercises increase your heart rate during reps and recover between sets. This also produces a different pattern of blood vessel responses than other types of exercise. When weight training, your muscles will ease the burden on your heart – give your heart a little “break” let’s say.
Healthy individuals should strength train two to three times a week to reduce their risk of chronic disease, lower blood pressure, improve blood circulation to limbs, and improve overall health.
This is a wonderful option for those who experience joint pain in other forms of exercise. Swimming is low-impact with multi-directional resistance.
Swimming laps will not only ease joint paint, it will raise your heart rate while improving your muscular strength and tone.
4.) Playing Tennis
Want a healthy heart? Play tennis!
Because of it’s aerobic style, tennis has many cardiovascular benefits. In addition, tennis meets and maintains the maximum heart rate criteria (60% to 90%) that is ideal for aerobic conditioning.
Tennis will also improve the following:
- Muscle tone & strength
Tip: Want to boost your workout with tennis? Play singles instead of doubles!
5.) High Intensity/ Interval Training
The cardiovascular impact of high-intensity exercise versus light exercise has always been a subject for debate. However, findings show that high intensity workouts win.
Why are high-intensity workouts better for your heart? There are a few reasons – your heart rate is higher, your blood vessels are more dilated, and you burn more calories (and continue to burn more calories while at rest).
When it comes to heart health and exercise, short and intense are more effective than long and less intense.
The practice of Yoga is one of the best stress relievers there is. And calm mind, body, and spirit means a healthier heart! More active styles of yoga, such as Ashtanga and Bikram, offer even more cardiovascular benefits. Since they are a little more intense, these styles will elevate your heart rate more than traditional yoga.
Cycling is a great exercise option for those who do not prefer running or high-impact training.
Studies have shown cycling 19 miles a week reduced the potential for heart disease by 50 percent! Cycling also increases your capacity to burn body fat to lose weight – look good, feel good!
Your heart is your body’s lifeline. Take care of it, nourish it, strengthen it, and love it.
Need additional suggestions or a fitness plan for a specific goal? Seek the help of a personal trainer to get the individual attention you need!Set up a Free Fitness Consultation