While most think exercise are good for muscle gains, “toning” and/or losing weight, the heart needs exercise just as much as any other muscle in the body.
Heart health is simply your lifeline. Without the heart beating & pumping blood fueling oxygen/nutrients across the entire body, the body simply will be unable to function & move, and the lungs will be unable to breath. The scariest part is that heart disease is the number one killer among women.
Forget the waistline for just one moment – let’s chat about the sexy & strong heart. The best way to work on the heart is to do cardio (aerobic training). Anything that gets your heart rate up and forces you to breath in more oxygen contributes to hearth health and lung fitness. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderately intense activity a few times a week.
Here is a list of 7 exercises to maintain a strong, healthy heart.
1. Walking/Jogging/Running – Brisk walking is a perfect way to begin the journey to heart health especially if you are new to exercise, whether it’s treadmill walking or walking in nature. In interval state or steady state, this is a great option to intensify your activity, especially fi you are ready to kick up the walking you have been doing. In addition, running is part of most athletic training regimens.
2.Skipping rope – Jumping rope is a total body exercise and can be a fun way to boost the heart rate.
3. Cycling – The pedaling and pumping of the legs make this activity so vigorous it increases the pumping of the heart.
4. Swimming – This full body exercise not only works the heart but is a great alternative, specifically for those who are injured, to aerobic exercises that involve too much load on the joints.
5. Any Resistance Training Exercises – All exercises that are weight bearing in nature are aerobic. Heart healthy workouts performed either with exercise equipment such as dumbbells, barbells, and kettle bells or performed by the body’s own weight increase the heart rate. The constant movement whether performed in a series of sets of reps or in timed intervals are considered cardio. Pull- ups, pushups, squats, jumping jacks, burpees, and core work are examples exercises that can be done anywhere.
6. Dancing – all forms of dancing are aerobic. Competitively or for fun, dancing is a great way to increase the heart rate and get heart healthy.
7. Sports/Combat Sports Training – All sports involve cardio and aerobic conditioning. Pick your favorite sport – tennis, cardio kickboxing, boxing, softball, soccer – and keep your body moving.