4 Exercises for Heart Health You Should Know About

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, and many cases are preventable. Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to keep your heart healthy. Read on for exercises that will help keep your ticker strong!

1. Walking

A group of bushes with a mountain in the background

Strolling is one of the best exercises for heart health. It’s free, and you can do it any time or place- even when stuck in traffic. If you walk briskly for 30 minutes every day, your risk of developing heart disease will drop by 50%. That’s plenty of reason to lace up those walking shoes and take a stroll!

Fortunately, countless exercises offer similar benefits. You don’t need to be an athlete or gym rat to get the physical activity your body needs; all it takes is a little time and effort on your part. So enjoy these exercises for heart health; they’ll keep you healthy and strong!

2. Running

Running is the most dependable, time-tested exercise for strengthening your heart. It’s also one of the simplest exercises you can do. You don’t need any equipment or special skills to run; all you need are a good pair of running shoes and some open space. Running has been shown to reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels and strengthen bones in people with osteoporosis. After just 10 minutes of running at a moderate pace (about 3 miles per hour) about three times a week for four months, study participants had reduced their risk factors for cardiovascular disease by 30 percent.

Did you know?

Doing speed exercises (intervals) such as sprints and fast walking maybe even better for your heart than running at a slower, more consistent pace. More intense exercises that challenge the heart over a shorter period result in greater benefits to the cardiovascular system.

3. Cycling

Cycling is a low-impact aerobic exercise that can be done just about anywhere. You don’t need any special equipment, and you get the health benefits of increased cardiorespiratory fitness, improved muscular strength and endurance, weight loss or maintenance, reduced risk of diabetes mellitus type 2, and coronary artery disease. Cycling exercises all the major muscle groups in your body — your thighs (quadriceps), hamstrings, gluteal muscles (buttocks), and calf muscles — as well as many smaller stabilizing muscles. For these reasons cycling is considered to be an excellent form of physical therapy for people with injuries or disabilities affecting their lower extremities; additionally, it has been shown to help alleviate symptoms of depression.

4. Swimming

Swimming is a great cardiovascular exercise that can be done at any age. It’s low-impact on the joints, has minimal risk of injury, and exercises most major muscle groups in your body. Plus it’s fun!

Swimming exercises all three types of strokes: Front crawl, backstroke, and breaststroke. Front crawl is also called freestyle because you “free” your arms from side to side as you swim while keeping a strong core. This stroke is typically used for longer distances such as half a mile or more. Backstroke requires little arm movement so it’s easier on the muscles but harder on the lungs since breathing may become difficult with each breath taken only when you’re turned away from the pool wall and water resistance makes it harder to move through the water. Finally, breaststroke exercises both arms and legs as you pull your body forward while kicking with a circular motion to propel you through the water.

By using all three types of strokes freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke – you will be able to do swimming exercises for heart health at a moderate pace for a long time.

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