Best Heart Healthy Exercises
Exercises that are good for the heart are usually also great fitness options for the rest of the body. Anaerobic exercises are considered the best options for heart health, although there are specific workouts and activities that provide the most heart-friendly benefits. Here are five of the best workouts that help maintain a healthy and fit heart.
Running is one of best options for heart-friendly workouts that can deliver fast results. It is free, can be started with just a good pair of trusty running shoes and can be done in any weather. A person can burn an average of 100 calories per mile on the treadmill. The best thing about running is that it is something that can be done even during trips on the road, when staying in a hotel, or even in the winter. Running also allows incremental increases in pacing and duration as the overall fitness level of the runner increases. Running is a total body exercises which uses activity to improve the runner’s cardiovascular condition while toning crucial muscle groups such as the legs, shoulders and arms while improving hip and spinal stability.
Brisk walking is an easy workout that anyone in any age group can do on a regular basis since it does not require any gym equipment and is something anyone can start doing to achieve a moderate fitness level. About 45 minutes of walking a day, whether incorporated into the day’s activities or done as a regular workout routine, can lead to significant improvements in heart health. It is important to wear shoes with appropriate support and to follow a moderately fast pace for optimum cardio results. Brisk walking also encourages walkers to go out and enjoy nature, an advantage seldom found in other workout routines.
This is probably one of the best heart-healthy activities for those struggling with excess weight or joint problems. This low-impact exercise helps swimmers burn calories as it increases the heart rate. Swimming also offers resistance from all directions to improve the body’s overall strength and muscle tone. According to experts, optimum heart fitness can be achieved if the swimmer achieves is or her target heart rate during the workout, which should be 60 to 85% of the maximum heart rate.
The multitude of benefits provided by yoga for the heart can never be overstated. Yoga increases the body’s heart rate while promoting calm, clarity, and relaxation. Stretching exercises, power poses and regulated breathing promote improved circulation, enhance the elasticity of blood vessels to promote a healthy cardiovascular system and improves a person’s ability to manage stress. Since stressors have a direct impact on blood pressure and the heart, the adoption of a healthy way of dealing with stress is one of the advantages of yoga practice. Yoga also doubles as a core strengthening workout which promotes better posture and improved body mechanics when performing other workouts and other physically-demanding tasks during the day.
Core workouts may seem daunting and only meant for those who have been working out regularly, but they are doable and provide benefits that extend beyond improved cardiovascular fitness. Core workouts like Pilates help improve the core muscles, enhance flexibility and balance while encouraging the shedding of excess pounds from problem zones such as the waist and abdomen. The improved fitness and flexibility delivered by core workouts also makes it easier to perform a wide range of workouts that are heart-friendly as well.
These are just five of the workouts designed to promote improved heart health and better circulation while offering a host of other benefits that contribute to a higher level of fitness. Choose which workout fits your current lifestyle and fitness level and start improving your heart health today.