Not all heart-healthy workouts have to involve intense cardio. Check out this post for other great cardio exercise ideas to keep your routine fresh!
Looking for Heart-Healthy Workouts? Try These Exercises!
Whether you're trying to lose weight or stay healthy, the heart is one of the main things you need to be concerned about. After all, it's the most important muscle in your body. Keeping your heart strong and healthy can prevent heart disease, improve blood circulation, and enhance overall well-being. We've got you covered if you're looking for heart-healthy workouts that you can do just about anywhere! Keep reading to learn more about exercises that will help strengthen your heart.
Are Heart Problems Hereditary?
Before we get started on the exercises, there's a critical word of caution: If you have, or suspect you might have, heart problems, consult a doctor before doing any of the exercises listed here. Even though they are heart-healthy workouts, people with certain heart complaints must be careful.
This warning is especially true if you know your parents or grandparents have had heart problems. Heart problems can be hereditary, so getting checked out is essential even if you have no symptoms of heart issues.
According to Penn Medicine, the three most common hereditary heart problems are:
1. Familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
2. Familial dilated cardiomyopathy
3. Familial hypercholesterolemia
Can I Improve My Heart Health Through Exercise?
In short, absolutely. Eating well is incredibly important, but heart-healthy workouts are what will help train those heart muscles and get your cardio levels up.
What Exercises Boost Heart Health?
We want to make sure these heart-healthy exercises are accessible and approachable, so we're recommending five beginner-friendly heart-healthy workouts that you can do just about anywhere:
Walking is a great way to stay fit and healthy, and it's easy to do anywhere. You can walk for as long or as short as you want and at whatever pace works best for your body.
Walking is one of the best heart-healthy exercises because it increases your heart rate. When your heart rate increases, the muscles work harder to keep blood pumping around your body.
Daily walks are one of the easiest and most convenient ways to burn calories, which is why many doctors recommend it as part of a healthy lifestyle.
If you have a higher baseline of cardio stamina, jogging is a great way to get a good cardio workout and burn calories. Moderate jogging is also a great way to improve your overall bone and joint health, especially if you're new to exercising.
As we age, exercising becomes more critical for us to keep ourselves in shape. To do that, specific exercises work better than others. Jogging is one of those exercises because it allows you to build endurance and strength without being too strenuous on the body. Although less strenuous than some other exercises (like trail running), jogging still helps to build muscle tone. Jogging also keeps your heart-healthy by pumping more blood through your body faster than walking, which in turn trains your heart muscles.
Cycling is one of the best cardiovascular exercises out there. In addition to keeping your heart muscles in great condition, it can give you a good workout for your entire body. This is because cycling strengthens your core, legs, arms, and chest muscles. It also helps with balance and coordination—all things that will help reduce your risk of falls as you age.
Cycling works both the upper and lower body because pedaling works the quadriceps (front thigh muscles), hamstrings (back thigh muscles), glutes (buttocks), abductors (outer thighs), as well as calf muscles. You'll also use stabilizing muscles in your core to keep yourself upright on the bike seat. All that muscle work means more for your heart to do, so it gets its workout in, too!
Swimming is a great way to work some heart-healthy exercise and enjoyment into your day! It's low impact, so you can do it for long periods without experiencing pain or stiffness in your joints. Swimming also helps you work out in lower-intensity heart rate zones, which gives your exercises some diversity. There's no wonder it is one of the more popular heart-healthy workouts.
Although swimming is a low-impact exercise on your joints, it's still an excellent workout. Swimming might not burn as many calories as running or walking on land, but it provides a fantastic aerobic workout that increases cardiovascular endurance. Pair swimming with weight-bearing exercises to extend the benefits to your bones.
Swimming can also help you lose weight relatively quickly. This is because swimming generally uses more energy than other forms of physical activity, even when exercising at a moderate pace. If you are overweight, losing weight will help your heart, too.
Hiking is a wonderful form of cardiovascular exercise, and it's also an excellent way to get some fresh air, enjoy the outdoors, and spend time with friends and family. These added benefits also make hiking a heart-healthy exercise — when you enjoy yourself, your stress levels are lower, which is good for your long-term heart health.
These five heart-healthy workouts are a great place to start if you want to get fitter and live a longer life. With just a few minutes of your time each day, you can prioritize heart health and start feeling better!