February is heart health month. You don’t need to be an excellent athlete to boost your heart health. Moderate exercise can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses as well as improve your endurance, strength and flexibility. Any amount and type of physical activity is beneficial for your overall health, Buy, here are the top five exercises to benefit your heart.
How much exercise do you need for heart health?
Experts recommend doing some form of moderate aerobic activity for at least 150 minutes/week or 75 minutes/week of vigorous aerobic activity. You can spread the minutes out in any manner that works for your schedule. The key is scheduling some form of moderate to vigorous cardiovascular activity into your week and actually doing it.
5 Best exercises to improve heart health
Aerobic or cardiovascular exercise is any form of activity that increases your respiratory and heart rate; basically, any exercise that challenges your heart to work harder and become stronger. Cardiovascular fitness will improve the way your body uses oxygen. As your heart becomes stronger, you can perform physical activity longer, and your resting heart rate will be lower, meaning your heart is more efficient at pumping blood through your body. Though any aerobic exercise is good for your heart, these five physical activities are top-notch for heart health.
Whether on a treadmill or on the road, brisk walking is a natural way to improve your fitness. Though a leisure stroll is better than sitting on your couch, push yourself to walk at a fast pace to achieve a moderate intensity level.
Though more challenging than walking, running is another heart-healthy physical activity that the human body is ready-made to do. In addition, it is one of the best ways to burn calories (a 150-pound person can burn 100 calories per mile), a bonus if you are also trying to lose weight to reduce your risk of heart disease.
Water can be a full body fitness challenge. Swimming laps or even participating in water fitness classes will not only raise your heart rate and improve your heart health.
Another cardiovascular activity that is easy on the joints, cycling is a low-impact exercise that you can do solo in the gym, in a spin class, or outside on the road or trails. While your heart is pumping you'll also be building strength and toning your lower body as well as your core muscles, if you take your bike off-road.
Interval or circuit training
If doing a solid stint of aerobic exercise bores you tears, mix up your cardio with interval training or circuit training. For example, for every 3 minutes of cardio, do 1 strength training exercise or a high-intensity burst of cardio for 1 minute. Another option is to choose 5 to 10 strength training exercises and perform 1 set of each, doing lower weight and higher repetitions while moving quickly from one exercise to the next to keep your heart rate up. This type of training will not only keep you motivated to exercise, it will improve your muscular strength, endurance and heart health.
For more information on heart healthy exercises, contact Answer is Fitness in Foxboro.