When we exercise we typically work to lose body fat and improve muscle composition. The heart, like other muscles, also needs to be exercised in order to stay healthy for as long as possible.
Although most people believe that tough exercise is required in order to maintain a healthy heart, that’s actually not the case. According to research, 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week can improve heart health. This totals to about 30 minutes of brisk walking 5 days a week, or whatever exercise you choose to do.
Different Types of Exercise
Walking is considered a form of aerobic exercise, the best type of exercise to improve heart health. While most people enjoy going for a walk, some people prefer different types of activities. The following are all the different forms of exercise that improve heart health:
- Aerobic: as mentioned before, this type of exercise is great for improving heart health due to its heart-pumping qualities. Aerobic exercise includes brisk walking, running, swimming, jump rope, cycling, etc. This form of exercise is great for improving circulation and helping reduce the risk of heart diseases such as high blood pressure.
- Strength Training: Resistance training with weights, bands, and machines can help improve body composition and in turn helping to reduce chances of heart diseases. When combined with aerobic exercise, these two can lead to an overall healthier body and lifestyle.
- Flexibility: Although exercises such as yoga and mobility stretching don’t directly impact the heart, they lead to better performance for aerobic and strength exercise and are therefore necessary to incorporate into your routine.
Benefits for the Heart
Exercising has a number of benefits for heart health including the following:
- Lowering Stress
- Lowering blood pressure
- Improve heart function
- Reducing risk of heart disease
- Reduce LDL (bad cholesterol)
Always make sure to warm up before beginning any form of exercise in order to reduce or avoid injury. Additionally, if you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or nauseous, get help as soon as possible.
It’s important to check with your doctor in order to ensure you are okay to exercise. Muscle soreness is also normal and decreases with time as your body adjusts.