How do I exercise my heart and will it help me?
These are very common questions which we are asked regularly. Firstly, yes you can target your heart through exercise and exercise is a great way to improve your overall heart health. The heart is a muscle, and it gets stronger and healthier if you lead an active lifestyle. Remember it’s never too late to start exercising. So let’s get started!
To exercise the cardiovascular system you need to incorporate aerobic exercise, also known as cardio. What is aerobic exercise? Aerobic exercise is any exercise that requires the heart to pump oxygenated blood to working muscles for a sustained period of time. Your heart is a muscle, and it gets stronger and healthier after exercising. During aerobic exercise you heart is required to work harder which helps to improve your hearts endurance and fitness.
We have identified four excellent types of aerobic exercises anyone can include in their daily routines. Let’s get started!
Walking: Yes, the humble walk or stroll is perfect for those looking to get their hearts pumping. Especially good for those people who want to ease themselves back into exercising. Walking at a brisk pace for 30 minutes a day can make a big difference to the health of your heart.
Jogging or Running: Some runners say you can’t beat the feeling of hitting the road after a hard day at work. Running or jogging provides a great exercise for the cardiovascular system as it requires great endurance from your heart and lungs to supply oxygen to your muscles.
Get on your bike: Cycling has seen a massive increase in popularity in recent years. I think we have all noticed the growing number of lycra clad men and women on our roads. Cycling is great for the heart and also great for people whose joints would not withstand the pressures of running or walking.
Swimming: Great for those who may have joint problems as swimming is a low impact form of exercise. It also has the added advantage of working every major muscle group in the body. Many pools around the country have beginner classes for all ages.
Once you get going, you’ll find it pays off. Research has identified that people who don’t exercise are almost twice as likely to get heart disease as people who are active. Remember regular exercise can help your blood pressure, reduce LDL “bad” cholesterol and boost your HDL “good” cholesterol levels. So get active today!
Please note not all exercise programs are suitable for everyone. Please consult your healthcare practitioner before beginning any fitness program.