Heart Month – Exercises for a Healthy Heart

February not only brings the season of love with Valentine’s Day, but also serves as a reminder to prioritize our cardiovascular health. American Heart Month is the perfect time to focus on the importance of heart care, and at Southwoods Health, we advocate for a proactive approach to health and well-being. Keep reading as we explore some of the best exercises designed to strengthen your heart, promoting a healthier and happier life.

Aerobic Exercises

Aerobic exercises, also known as cardio, are the cornerstone of cardiovascular health. These activities not only get your heart pumping but also enhance blood circulation and contribute to lowering blood pressure. Exercises such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing all fall into the cardio category. Experts recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise to maintain a healthy heart.

Strength Training

Beyond the rhythmic beats of aerobic workouts, strength training plays a pivotal role in heart health. Lifting weights and performing bodyweight exercises helps build lean muscle mass, improving metabolism and reducing the risk of heart disease. Incorporate strength training exercises into your routine at least twice a week, targeting major muscle groups for optimal benefits.

Flexibility & Stretching

The importance of flexibility exercises should not be overlooked in a well-rounded fitness regimen. Pilates and yoga are ideal for enhancing flexibility, balance and relaxation, and will contribute significantly to heart health. These exercises promote joint mobility, reduce the risk of injuries and can help calm you, all which benefit your overall well-being.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

For those seeking time-efficient yet highly effective workouts, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a popular choice. This form of exercise involves short bursts of intense activity followed by brief periods of rest or lower-intensity exercise. HIIT workouts enhance cardiovascular fitness, lower blood sugar levels and aid in weight management. Customizing these workouts to your fitness level is crucial, and consulting with a fitness professional can help ensure a safe and effective routine.


For those who may find high-impact exercises challenging, walking is an accessible and effective alternative that can easily fit into your daily life. Incorporate short bursts of brisk walking into your routine, alternating with slower-paced walking. This approach allows individuals to boost heart health without placing excessive strain on joints, making it a suitable option for all fitness levels.

This Heart Month, we are aiming to spread awareness on the importance of prioritizing cardiovascular health through regular exercise. A balanced combination of aerobic workouts, strength training and flexibility exercises can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, contributing to a longer and healthier life. Before initiating any new exercise regimen, especially if pre-existing health conditions are a concern, consult with your healthcare provider. At Southwoods Health, we stand ready to support you on your path to a stronger, happier heart.

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Michael Merdich