The heart is like any muscle in the body, needing to be strengthened through physical activity to function at its best. Even if you have a heart condition, the American Heart Association still recommends physical activity to help recover and decrease symptoms. Just like certain kinds of physical activity – called physical therapy – will help rehabilitate an injury, so too can it help rehabilitate a heart. Furthermore, starting and keeping an exercise routine can help prevent heart conditions from developing, even if it’s in your genes.
If you’re looking to start a physical activity routine that focuses on heart health, here are some of the best exercises for your heart.
Cardio – One Of The Best Heart Exercises
The American Heart Association suggests that aerobic exercising of moderate to vigorous intensity is the best way to lower blood pressure and the risk of heart attack and stroke. Such exercises include biking, jogging, swimming, and even walking. Dancing is another form of cardio exercise that is good for the heart. They recommend at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise. For those who already suffer from heart disease, the recommendations are the same. However, you’ll want to start out slow and perhaps seek professional guidance on a physical activity program to ensure you’re doing the right exercising at the right intensity.
Interval training is a form of cardiovascular exercise that continuously raises and lowers your heart rate. By varying your heart rate for a specific amount of time, you can improve vascular function and make the body more efficient at burning calories, fat and sugar. Interval training combines short bursts of high-intensity cardio – like sprinting – with longer periods of active recovery, like walking.
Breathing With Yoga
Yoga is often underestimated when it comes to cardiovascular health. However, one of the most important aspects of yoga is the breathing techniques you’ll learn. Learning to breathe correctly will help significantly lower your blood pressure as it reduces stress. Furthermore, it helps you control your heart rate through breathing and strengthens the body.
Strength and weight training are also often overlooked when it comes to being heart healthy. Most people believe that the best way to be heart-healthy is to do aerobic exercising. However, without a strong body, cardiovascular exercises can be more taxing on the body, which causes more stress on the heart. Not only does weight training strengthen muscles, but it can also reduce the burden on the heart.
A Well-Rounded Exercise Routine
To maintain optimal health, including heart health, you want to maintain a regular well-rounded exercise routine and diet. Without both strength and aerobic training, you could run the risk of putting more stress on your body. However, you need to have the proper guidance when starting an exercise routine. This is especially important if you have the goal of lowering your risk of heart disease. The best program is one that incorporates all the best heart exercises, is well-rounded, and built specifically for you. Furthermore, especially if you are battling a heart condition, it’s important to seek out trained help for the right therapy program.