There are LOTS of exercises that will benefit heart health, but here is a list as recommended by some of the experts as to the BEST BANG for your buck! Let’s take a look!
Hit the pool for a workout your heart (and lungs!) will love. The best choice here is lane swimming as opposed to leisure swimming which only brings benefits to the extremely unfit population say the experts. Lane swimming will give you a greater return on your exercise time investment. the recommended dose of lane swimming is progressing from eight to 12 lengths of the pool per swim technique, varying techniques on different days. This could mean doing front crawl and legs only with a flutter board one day and then back crawl and breast stroke another day. One swim technique guaranteed to bring up your fitness level is fist freestyle, which is using closed fists for any swim style because you have to work harder when you don’t have any swim paddle effect with the open hand.
Weight training is SO IMPORTANT for people with heart disease, because it helps build muscle mass which burns fat. It also is a bonus for bone and heart health. When it comes to deciding what type of weight training to do, did you know one of the easiest and most effective methods is simply using your own body weight? Then adjust the speed of your movements to increase the difficulty. For example, once you can do 20 push-ups with ease, challenge yourself by slowing down and counting to three between intervals of up and down.
Running in bursts (intervals) will really push your cardiovascular fitness to the next level. Whether it’s sprints or hills, all you need is 10 seconds at a time. The pros recommend 4 10 second bursts where you go all out at full speed and then regular running inbetween. eventually increase the number of intervals as your progress improves. Do the intervals at the beginning of your run when you have the most energy and it will also help you tap into burning the extra fat on your body as the type of training will deplete some of the glycogen or carbohydrate stored in the muscle.
Work at your own pace.
Pushing your heart rate up and down readily can be very hard on those that are not in shape (eg. snow shovelling). A less intense exercise like yoga has great benefits as it is great for strength and muscle toning. Plus more active styles of yoga such as Ashtanga and Bikram can offer cardiovascular benefits, as your heart rate is elevated throughout the class.
Regular cycling can substantially reduce your risk for coronary heart disease, according to a large study done by the British Medical Association. The findings revealed that cycling 32 kilometres a week reduced the potential to develop heart disease by a whopping 50 percent. Cycling uses large muscle groups in the legs to elevate your heart rate, which helps to improve not only your cardiovascular fitness but also burns calories, and has even been shown to improve mental health.
Any movement is better than sitting still when it comes to improving your heart health, but one of the best types of exercises to increase your cardiovascular fitness is circuit training say the pros. The idea is that when you work out at a very high intensity the blood starts to pump a lot harder and that challenges the elasticity of the arterial wall. It sort of stretches the arteries and improves the elasticity for better cardiovascular fitness. The best method is to have minimal rest periods, and alternating between upper and lower body exercises is the ideal way to get maximum results.
LOCAL FACT: A new and improved circuit training experience will soon be in Niagara unlike any gym you have ever been at before called HeartCore. Heart Niagara, community heart health leaders since 1977 are bringing the breakthrough circuit system to their Niagara Falls location and it is suitable for everyone! Check out the video below to see it in action, get involved by supporting the cause, and then come on down once it’s here in September to improve your own heart health!
Tip: No matter what exercise you choose to do, 30 minutes, five days a week is an ideal place to start say fitness experts who recommend building up to one hour, five days a week. But always check with your doctor before trying any exercise program.
BOTTOM LINE: There are lots of options to get your heart in check, so just get moving…..you’ll be glad you did!!
For more information on heartcore click here: HeartCore