Written by Stephanie Koathes

Top 5 exercises for your heart

Healthy heart on blackboaed

Exercising on a regular basis is one of the best things you can add to your routine for the health of your heart.

Your heart is a muscle and just like your quads or abs, it needs exercise to keep it fit.

Here are five of the best types of exercises you can do to help take care of your heart.

If you have a history of heart disease then you should check with your doctor before you start an exercise programme.

Also, if you experience chest pains, shortness of breath on exertion, see a doctor immediately.

 

Walking

walking-legs
You don’t need a gym membership to do this one. Walking is free, easy and can be done whenever it’s convenient. Walking is a great aerobic exercise that’ll keep your heart in good shape. A study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that walking half an hour a day can cut the overall risk of heart disease by 18%.

 

Weight training

Heavy weight exercise.
Grab some weights and get ready to do a couple of reps on the way to better heart health. Weight training builds lean muscle mass, aids in reducing fat tissue in the body and can boost your metabolism. Additionally, weight training can help to lower high blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels and help control blood sugar levels.

Another Harvard study found that weight training for more than 30 minutes per week decreased heart disease risk by 23%.

 

Yoga

Yoga training concept
Get zen for your heart. Practicing yoga is a good way to take care of your heart. Yoga has been shown to reduce stress and strengthen the body. The stress relief yoga provides, helps to lower blood pressure, which increases the elasticity of blood vessels promoting heart health.

 

Swim

Swimmer diving in swimming pool
Swimming is a wonderful way to get some aerobic exercise into your routine. Swimming helps strengthen your heart. This workout is also low impact meaning your joints are under less stress.  It’s great for people who are just getting into the swing of working out, have been injured, are overweight or have arthritis.

 

Elliptical

Unrecognizable athlete exercising on a cross trainer in a gym.
Getting on an elliptical either at the gym or at home is a step in the right direction. An elliptical workout provides the aerobic exercise your heart needs while being fairly low impact. With an elliptical workout you get both an upper and lower body workout at the same time.

This article was edited by Dr Andrene Chung, Interventional Cardiologist at the Partners Interventional Centre of Jamaica, specialists in cardiology, cardiac care and surgery.

Sources: Everyday Health, Prevention, Today.

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