The heart is a muscle, and just like any other muscle, it gets stronger with exercise. Most of us know that cardiovascular or aerobic exercises keep the hearth healthy and strong, but it is important to know which ones are the most beneficial to the cardiac muscle in particular. It is important because blindly heading into a gym and doing whatever comes your way can actually be degrading to your heart as well, especially if it involves sudden bursts of energy or rigorous, long term routines without prior conditioning.
Fast Walking/Brisk Walking
This is neither the same as jogging, nor is it exactly a stroll through the park; brisk walking is a middle point in-between the two. It’s perfect for people of all ages and doctors even advise some of their heart-patients to go for brisk walking sessions. The brisk pace makes sure that the heart is neither overworked nor does it remain completely unaffected. You can do this on a treadmill, but if there’s a park or a forest path near you, hit it in the morning for an even better result.
Swimming is perfect in so many ways and it actually will help you to build up some strength as well, given that moving in water puts you through multidimensional resistance. It’s one of the best exercises that you can do to keep the heart strong, and the best part is that even those of us with joint issues will find swimming to be much less painful than walking. Don’t overexert yourself, though, because advanced swimming exercises demand a lot of cardiovascular strength to complete.
In addition to strengthening your heart, cycling also strengthens your core and the entire lower body. The advantage of choosing cycling over swimming is that you can control the pace of your exercise as at no point is there the fear of drowning in case you are too tired. You can go for as long and as fast as you want, before coming to a stop and resting as soon as you feel that you need to.
This one is a bit more advanced than the others, but if you love lifting weights, you will appreciate it. Although there is no specific way to build a circuit since it differs from person to person, based on his/her conditioning, the basic idea is to keep your heart rate very high for a longer period of time than is possible with resistance training alone. Check below for a few simple examples for beginners.
- Three minutes of cardio exercise followed by one minute of resistance training without any break in-between
- Fast paced resistance training with light weights and high repetitions for 5 – 10 minutes at a stretch.
Let’s end this list with something that’s actually fun, healthy and can be social at the same time. Join a Zumba class if you want or you can do it at home with music of your choice if you already know how to dance.
You can even mix and match these exercises as you see fit, because it will keep them from getting too boring. However, exercise alone isn’t enough for ensuring your health; it has to be a mix of a healthy diet, natural supplements for a healthy heart and a strict but fun exercise regimen. If you can tick the box on all three, heart issues will likely stay away from you.