Losing weight and "getting ripped" may be the first things that come to mind when thinking about the advantages of exercising. However, there is one benefit that is far more important: maintaining a healthy heart.
Because your heart is the most vital muscle in your body, you should give it some special attention, right? Let's look at some of the most effective workouts for keeping your heart healthy and lowering your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Aerobic workouts, sometimes referred to as cardio, are meant to increase your heart rate and make you sweat. Aerobics aid in the improvement of circulation and the reduction of blood pressure. They can also help manage blood sugar levels if you have diabetes.
Every adult should acquire at least two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, spread out over 10 minute intervals. The following are some instances of moderate-intensity aerobics:
- going for a brisk walk
- biking on flat terrain
- taking a leisurely swim
If you want to exercise but don't have a lot of time, one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise would suffice. These intense workouts are designed to get your heart rate up and your breathing rate down:
- biking 10 mph or faster
- swimming laps
- playing soccer
- hiking uphill
If you choose, you can practice a mix of moderate and vigorous-intensity aerobics during the week. One minute of vigorous-intensity exercise is about equal to two minutes of moderate-intensity aerobics, as a rule of thumb.
Another excellent strategy to boost your heart health is to engage in strength exercise (also known as resistance training). Strength training, when paired with aerobics, can assist to raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol. It may also lower your chances of a heart attack or stroke.
Strength training exercises should be done at least twice a week, according to experts (on nonconsecutive days).
All of your major muscle groups should be worked during these strength training sessions: arms, legs, hips, chest, shoulders, abs, and back. Although it may appear frightening, this is nothing like the weightlifting and bodybuilding you see on television. The following are some examples of strength-training exercises:
- lifting free weights
- using resistance bands
- doing pushups
- doing situps
- doing squats
Exercises for strength training should be done in sets. Each set should consist of 8 to 12 repetitions, or until performing another repetition without assistance becomes difficult.
Flexibility and stretching exercises can add a lot to your workout, even if they don't directly affect your heart health. Yoga, tai chi, and Pilates will not only enhance your flexibility and balance, but they will also reduce your chances of cramps, joint aches, and muscular soreness while exercising.
Flexibility exercises make it easier to engage in the other sorts of physical activities required for heart health. Flexibility training is convenient because it can be done at any time and in any location. If you're serious about heart health, boosting your flexibility is always a smart idea, whether it's warming up before a workout, attending a hot yoga session, or simply stretching in your living room.
Consult your doctor for further advice on how to keep your heart in good shape.