According to American Heart Association (AHA), about 70% of Americans don’t exercise regularly, yet inactivity is the main contributing factor for developing heart diseases such as coronary artery disease (CAD). Your heart gets stronger and healthier when you lead an active life. It’s never too late to start exercising, and even a 20 minutes’ walk can make a big difference.
Here are five heart healthy exercises that can help you get in shape and lower the risk for diseases.
Research shows that swimming can improve your mental health, put you in a better mood, and help you burn calories and tone up. The buoyancy of the water maintains your body and eases the strains and painful joints so you may move them more fluidly. Besides, it’s good for people with arthritis because it’s less weight bearing.
Walking is an enjoyable, inexpensive, safe, and easy to fit into everyone’s busy day. You can simply choose to walk to work, to the grocery store, or around the neighborhood. It’s an aerobic exercise helps you stay trim, strengthen bones, improve cholesterol levels, keep blood pressure in check and lower your risk for heart diseases.
Resistance or strength training is highly beneficial in the fight against heart disease. Using your body weight for resistance or lifting weights increases blood flow, preserve your brain function in later years, and often leads to long-lasting blood pressure control.
According to the Journal of American Medical Association, any kind of exercise will help improve your health. But most importantly, if you run for at least one hour every week, you will reduce the risks of a heart attack by 42 percent.
To achieve utmost heart health from anaerobic exercise, you need to reach 50 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. Climbing stairs is an easy way to reach this target range, whether you do it at the gym on the stair machine or at home.
Exercise is the most powerful “medication” for your cardiovascular health, and the key to success in any workout is to start slowly, and gradually build. When you exercise for heart health, you need to be patient and committed to your workout plan. And please remember to always check with your physician before you start.
Do you want to share your favorite heart healthy exercise? Let us know in the comments.