The exercises which makes your Heart healthy
Getting physically active is an important step towards good cardiac health. It is one of the most effective means of strengthening the heart muscle, maintaining control of your weight and preventing damage to the artery from high cholesterol, high blood sugar and high blood pressure that could lead to heart attack or stroke.
It is also true that different kinds of exercise are needed for full fitness. “Aerobic activity and heart health resistance training are most important,” says Kerry J. Stewart, Ed. D. physiologist of Johns Hopkins. “While flexibility does not directly contribute to cardiovascular health, it is nevertheless necessary because it provides a good foundation for the more efficient performance of aerobic and strength workouts.”
What it does: Aerobic exercise increases breathing, which reduces blood pressure and heart speed, says Stewart. It also increases your overall aerobic fitness, for example as calculated by a treadmill, and raises your heart rate (how well your heart pumps). Aerobic exercise also reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and helps you control blood glucose if you already live with diabetes.
How much: ideally at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week at least.
Examples: Hustle and bustle walking, biking, swimming, cycling, tennis and jumping rope. Heart-pumping aerobics is the type doctors think when they recommend moderate activity for at least 150 minutes per week.
Training in resistance (Strength Work)
What it does: The impact of strength training on body composition is more precise, says Stewart. This can contribute to fat reduction and a leaner muscle mass for people who carry a lot of body fat (including a large belly, which is a risk factor for heart disease). Research shows that a combination of aerobic workouts and resistance can increase HDL cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol (bad).
How much: The American College of Sports Medicine says at least two non-consequent days per week of resistance training are a good rule.
Examples: Free weights working (for example, hand weights, dumbbells, barbells), on weight machinery, with strength bands and through exercises to resist the body, for example, push-ups, squats and chin-ups.
Extension, stability and equilibrium
What they do: Workouts for flexibility like stretching do not contribute directly to heart health. They benefit from musculoskeletal health, which makes it possible for you to remain flexible and free of joint pain, cramping and other muscle problems. This versatility is an essential part of aerobics and resistance training, says Stewart.
“If you have a strong musculoskeletal base, you can do the exercises that support your heart,” he said. As a bonus, strength and balance helps maintain stability and avoid slips, leading to accidents that limit certain types of exercise.
How much: Every day and before and after other exercise
Examples: Your doctor can prescribe simple stretches at home or you can find DVDs or YouTube videos to follow (but you should check with your doctor if the strength of the exercise is important). Tai chi and yoga also improve these skills and classes in many cultures.