Diet is only one part of your heart’s health. Exercise is another.
A sedentary lifestyle is one of the top risk factors for heart disease. When we exercise our heart gets a workout, too. These workouts help strengthen our cardiovascular system, lower our blood pressure, and improve circulation, among other benefits.
There are many kinds of exercise you can do, but the best exercise for your heart is the aerobic kind.
Get Your Heart Rate Up
You don’t have to take an aerobics class to get an aerobic exercise, but you do have to get your heart pumping to reap the benefits of good heart health.
A good aerobic workout is about getting your heart rate up over a steady period of time, focusing on larger muscle groups rather than tightening or strengthening your muscle tone. With an aerobic exercise, you strengthen your heart and lungs and work on your body’s use of oxygen.
Lots of Options
There are many kinds of exercises that would give you a good cardio workout. Jogging, swimming, bicycling, jumping rope, dance, martial arts, and rowing are all ways to break a sweat and get your heart rate up.
The key with aerobic exercise is you need to sustain an increased heart rate for a period of time. In other words, simply running down the street for a minute won’t get your heart rate up long enough to pose a true benefit on your heart’s health.
Don't Overdo It
On the flip side, you don’t want to go too hard out and injure yourself. Your heart is a muscle and, depending on how much it has been worked out, you might need to use a building-block approach to increase the cardio in your workout.
If you haven’t worked out in awhile, take it easy at first. Aerobic exercise is about strengthening your heart over time so that it uses less energy and oxygen to function.
Tightening and toning our muscles has its benefits. It gives us more strength and increases our metabolism, but aerobic exercise is the key to good heart health. It’s helps our hearts prepare for the long road ahead.