We all know that cardiovascular health is very important. Yet, it’s rarely a top priority when working out at home or in the gym. Perhaps your goal is to burn fat fast or build up muscle, but are you giving enough thought to the condition of your heart? Well, the good news is that it’s entirely possible to use exercise to strengthen the heart.
After all, it is just another muscle, albeit the most essential one we have.
Crucially, there is a distinction between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ heart exercises. Marathon runners, for example, are no stranger to cardiovascular problems. Ironically, the fact that they are so active means their hearts grow extra-large, and this can lead to an increased risk of atrial fibrillation and other disorders. If you have been diagnosed with A-Fib, talk to your doctor about the watchman surgery as an alternative to lifelong blood thinners.
For the most part, however, exercise is great for the heart. Weight training and high-intensity cardio are recommended because they strengthen without putting the muscle under too much pressure. Keep reading to learn more.
Doctors actually recommend weight training for those suffering from heart disease. So, it comes with a medical endorsement. Plus, you can buy top quality gym equipment from a vendor like Little Bloke Fitness and work out in the comfort of your own home.
You don’t even have to pay for a gym membership. Just pick up some dumbbells and start curling, lunging, and squatting your way to a strong heart and body. Exercising at home is a great idea for anybody with a busy schedule, who struggles to get to a gym or sports centre.
High-Intensity Circuit Training
We now know that one of the most efficient ways to exercise is in short, intense bursts. This is referred to as ‘high-intensity training, ’ and it involves brief periods of heavy activity, followed by rest periods, and then more training. It is great for getting the heart moving.
It stretches the arteries and increases the elasticity of the cardiovascular region so that it performs much better. The secret to success is to focus on intensity, rather than endurance. It doesn’t matter if you can’t go for a long time, just put all of your energy into the workouts.
It is a misconception to believe that only intense activity is beneficial for the heart. Yoga is surprisingly heart healthy and particularly good for older people or those with mobility issues. Certainly, if you’re out of shape, but looking to change things, a gentle start is recommended.
If you’re not used to exercising, yoga can be a safe, calm introduction, just until you’ve warmed up your muscles and become familiar with stretching and putting pressure on the body. When you feel confident, you could even take up a more energetic form of yoga, like Bikram.
Cycling is exceptionally good for cardiovascular health, and it reduces the risk of coronary disease. This is according to a study from the British Medical Association. It discovered that cycling a distance of 32 kilometres, each week, cuts the danger by a staggering fifty percent.
The activity stimulates some of the largest muscles in the body (found in the legs), and this helps to elevate heart rate. The result is a heart which functions faster, stronger, and more efficiently. You’ll also burn a vast quantity of calories if cycle regularly.
Most of us don’t need too many excuses to hit the pool because swimming is an enjoyable activity. If you really want to feel the benefits though, you’ve got to come up with a performance plan. Unstructured ‘leisure’ swimming is good for you, but it won’t really target the heart area.
To maximise the value of swimming, challenge yourself every time.
Try lane swimming by counting laps and trying out various techniques. The ‘fist freestyle’ method is helpful because it forces the body and heart to work harder. You can’t rely on our open hands for a paddle effect.
The Importance of Heart Health as You Age
Like bones and skin, the cardiovascular region is subject to age. The difference here is that, when the heart tissue gets damaged, it does not repair or regrow as many of the other organs do. It means that heart health is paramount, for people of all ages, but particularly older citizens who are trying to stay fit well into their senior years.