The heart is an essential organ in the body, so it’s important that we promote heart health in our everyday lives. Pursuing a healthy lifestyle means choosing to lower your risk of heart disease and heart attacks. Understanding the functioning of the heart and all we need to do to take care of it doesn’t have to be overwhelming because the heart is an integral part of our entire system. A good diet and exercise make a huge difference in heart health overtime.
It is a well-known fact that heart disease is a leading cause of death for people in the United States. However, we do not have to fear statistics because we can choose to decrease our risk of heart disease through simple steps.
The heart provides a vital function. Over the course of your lifetime, your heart will beat 2.5 billion times and push millions of gallons of blood throughout your body. To live a full and healthy life, you need your heart to function at tip top shape.
In this article, we’ll work to understand our heart health and look at exercises and lifestyle choices that positively impact our heart and cardiovascular system moving forward.
The Benefits of Exercise on Heart Health
There are many ways to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, but one of the best is to exercise regularly. Through exercise, you can lower your blood pressure, improve your cholesterol, and overall reduce the risk of heart attacks. Most exercise gets your blood pumping and your heart beating faster, which helps you develop endurance and improved cardiovascular health over time.
According to Johns Hopkins, exercise reduces stress, which affects the heart, and improves your ability to pull oxygen out of your blood, which means your heart doesn’t need to pump as much blood.
Even just making time for 10 minutes of activity a day is enough to make a difference, but the recommended amount is about 30 minutes per day.
No matter your athletic ability, you can work toward better heart health through exercise because there are a wide range of exercises that may benefit you. Most medical professionals recommend a mix of aerobic/cardiovascular exercise (like running, walking, or swimming) and strength training or other resistance training.
Check In With Your Heart Rate
If you’re new to fitness, all of the talk about “optimal” heart rates might be confusing. Working with a medical professional or certified trainer/coach can help you deduce what your optimal heart rate will be for different kinds of exercise.
Knowing this can improve your workouts and make them even more effective, as well as help you set a benchmark so you don’t overdo it.
The Best Exercises for Heart Health
If you’re new to fitness, take a look at the following exercises and pick one that you think fits best with your lifestyle. Each person is different. If you are a fitness enthusiast looking to really target your heart health, this list will make it easy for you to incorporate something new into your routine.
Walking is great exercise that is accessible to most people. While some may think it isn’t “hard” enough, walking does get your heart rate up and is a low-impact option for cardiovascular exercise. Plan to take a walk during your lunch break or after work. If you want to spice up your walks, grab some headphones to listen to an audiobook or walk with a friend!
Just walking can make a huge difference in your heart health.
Have a need for speed? Cycling might be for you. Whether you’re hopping on your beach cruiser to ride a few miles, getting an endurance ride in, or using the exercise bike at the gym, this form of exercise will get your heart pumping and strengthen muscles in your legs.
Yoga is a wonderful low-impact option, especially for people who deal with high amounts of daily stress or high blood pressure. While your heart rate can elevate during yoga, it has the added benefit of guided mindfulness and meditation, which slows your breathing and helps you control your racing heart.
If you’re new to yoga, consider trying out a local yoga studio and see what classes they offer. Hot yoga, power yoga, and vinyasa (or flow) yoga will make you sweat. Yin, gentle, and restorative yoga are usually more meditative.
Building muscle improves your cardiovascular health — and improves bone density. By burning calories and building muscle mass, you can create a healthy body, elevate your heart rate, and improve your strength.
Many gyms have weight training machines that take you through exactly how to use them. If you are interested in using free weights for the first time, reach out to a trainer or coach to learn best practices.
If you need a fun, low-impact exercise, try lap swimming! Swimming is one of the best exercises for heart health because it reduces stress and improves blood circulation in the body. Many local gyms that have pools for lap swimming also offer water aerobics classes, which are equally as beneficial to your heart health.
Track Your Progress
Tracking your progress with exercises for heart health is important. You may want to consider investing in a heart rate monitor that can provide real time data about your heart rate. This will also allow you to track your heart rate overtime and better optimize your workouts for specific heart rate zones.
If you have a secondary goal of changing your body composition, using ZOZOFIT is a good option. ZOZOFIT offers 3D body scanning technology to give you accurate body measurements and body fat percentage so that you can stay informed about your health and wellness. You can now use ZOZOFIT without the ZOZOSUIT, making it even easier to take control of your fitness plans and track your progress. You can try one of our subscription plans – either the one month or three month option – and see how ZOZOFIT works in your life.
Whatever you decide, know that you are making strides to improve your overall health. A healthy heart leads to a healthy life!