During Heart Month and all year long, Southwoods Cardiologists are spreading awareness about the role your lifestyle plays in ensuring your heart is healthy. Exercise is a vital part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, especially when it comes to heart health. Your heart is a muscle, so strengthening it is one of the best things you can do. Whether it is getting in the gym or taking a daily walk, any type of movement is important to heart health. Keep reading to learn the best exercises for a healthy heart.
While it may seem simple, walking is one of the best exercises you can do for your heart and it fits into any lifestyle. You can walk 30 minutes at lunch around your parking lot, stroll through your neighborhood after dinner or speed walk through the park. Just grab a pair of good tennis shoes, a friend or your favorite music, and hit the road!
Interval training, sometimes called HIIT, is exercise that alternates between short bursts of high-intensity exercise with active recovery in between. This type of exercise is great for people who only have a short amount of time to work out and want to make the most of it. Interval training will raise and lower your heart rate, which helps burn more calories and improve function of your blood vessels. If you’re looking for an intense workout and are short on time, interval training may be perfect for you.
While swimming is a great leisure activity on a hot sunny day, it can also be a great form of exercise. Swimming laps or taking a water aerobics class can help strengthen the whole body, including your heart. While it is a great aerobic activity, it also offers low impact on your joints making it a great exercise for people that suffer from joint pain.
Yoga is a type of exercise that is fantastic for the mind, body and soul. A gentle flow can help you stretch while toning and strengthening your muscles. Some types of yoga, like hot yoga or power yoga can get your heart rate up to get your blood pumping while calming your mind and lowering your blood pressure.
Strength exercises involve weights, resistance bands or body weight exercises that help build muscle mass and burn fat. While most people think they have to go to the gym to do strength training, there are many exercises that can help you build muscle in the comfort of your own home. Push ups, squats and resistance band exercises are just a few. Paired with light cardio, strength exercises can be a low impact way to gain muscle and stay fit.
Another low impact exercise that is great for your cardiovascular health is cycling. If you live in a town where it is possible, swapping a quick car ride for a bike ride can have huge health benefits. If you can’t, there are plenty of bike trails or parks perfect for a bike ride. When the weather isn’t suitable, there are affordable options for at-home cycling bikes or spinning classes at local gyms.
These are just a few of the countless types of exercise that can benefit your heart health. Doctors recommend getting at least 150 minutes of exercise each week, and with so many options to choose from, you can stay active without getting bored.
Southwoods Cardiology is committed to providing high quality, comprehensive care and works with your primary care physician to ensure that care is coordinated. If you are in need of cardiovascular care and are interested in an evaluation, contact your primary care physician for a referral.