3 Types of Exercise That Increase Heart Health

The human heart is a muscle. Like any other muscle, it gets stronger with regular use and healthy amounts of stress training. 

Your body couldn’t survive without your heart. It’s important to take care of one of your most important organs. You can do this with regular cardiovascular exercise and strength training. 

Don’t know where to start? Here are three essential exercises to boost your heart health for years to come. 

1. Aerobic Exercise: Get Your Heart Rate Up

Aerobic exercise is the kind that makes you breathe harder and gets your heart pumping faster. These types of exercises are most beneficial to your heart health. 

Cardio (aerobic exercise) forces your heart to work harder to pump blood throughout your body. As a result, your heart gets stronger, and your circulation improves. 

Think of a time when you had to climb stairs, run on the sidewalk, or walk briskly. How did it make your body feel? Aim for that sweaty, out-of-breath sensation each time you perform aerobic exercises. 

Examples of Heart-Healthy Cardio

Some examples of aerobic exercise include:

  • Running
  • Jogging
  • Fast-paced walking
  • Swimming
  • Biking/cycling
  • Jumping rope 
  • Playing vigorous sports

Make sure you stay within safe limits. Always consult a doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen. 

2. Natural Movement During Enjoyable Activities

You don’t have to carve out hours in the gym each week to get a healthier heart. Natural cardio and strength-building activities offer plenty of health benefits, too. 

In fact, you might notice that your favorite hobbies and sports increase your endurance even more than heavy gym sessions. That’s because natural activities, like digging in the dirt or playing sports, use more muscle groups at a time. 

As you perform natural movements like dancing, digging, or sports maneuvers, you’re strengthening your heart. You can reap the heart health benefits of your favorite activities without much thought. 

Naturally Active Hobbies and Sports

See if your favorite activities fall into the heart-healthy category. Some popular activities that encourage natural movement include:

  • Golf
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Dancing (ballroom, competitive, or casual)
  • Riding bikes
  • Hiking
  • Swimming
  • Digging and hoeing in the garden
  • Pulling weeds
  • Taking long walks in nature
  • Ice skating
  • Roller skating
  • Water aerobics classes
  • Active video games (like Just Dance)

If you enjoy any of these activities, know that you’re improving your heart health while you do so. These are all great starting points for incorporating more movement into your daily life. 

3. Resistance Training for Muscle Growth

Strength training may not be your first thought when you think of “heart-healthy exercise.” However, it has numerous benefits for your body. 

As your lean muscle mass grows, your body fat tends to decrease. Lower levels of body fat, particularly abdominal fat, are associated with better heart health. 

Some research also suggests that resistance training can improve your cholesterol levels. It may increase levels of “good” cholesterol while lowering the amount of “bad” cholesterol in your system. As a result, strength training can reduce your risk for heart disease and other serious problems. 

Using small weights or resistance bands can help you grow lean muscle mass. Try to include strength training in your routine at least twice per week to make your heart stronger and healthier. 

Check Up on Your Heart Health in Nassau County, NY

Don’t wait for problems to start before addressing your heart health. Protecting your heart is one of the most important things you can do to live a long, healthy life. 

Want to see how your ticker is doing? It’s always a good idea to schedule regular cardiology check-up appointments. Visit Cardiovascular Wellness in Lake Success or Hicksville in Nassau County, NY.

Posted in: Heart Health

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